Research: LIN and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 270


LIN and COLLEAGUES, 1. Ningbo Key Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Pathophysiology, School of Medicine, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China; 2. Li Dak Sum Yip Yio Chin Kenneth Li Marine Biopharmaceutical Research Center, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China; 3. Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA studied fucoxanthin, a marine carotenoid with antioxidative stress properties to determine its potential role in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD).


Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by neurofibrillary tangles, synaptic impairments, and loss of neurons. Oligomers of β-amyloid (Aβ) are widely accepted as the main neurotoxins to induce oxidative stress and neuronal loss in AD.


In this study, we discovered that fucoxanthin, a marine carotenoid with antioxidative stress properties, concentration dependently prevented Aβ oligomer-induced increase of neuronal apoptosis and intracellular reactive oxygen species in SH-SY5Y cells.


Aβ oligomers inhibited the prosurvival phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt cascade and activated the proapoptotic extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway. Moreover, inhibitors of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK) synergistically prevented Aβ oligomer-induced neuronal death, suggesting that the PI3K/Akt and ERK pathways might be involved in Aβ oligomer-induced neurotoxicity. Pre-treatment with fucoxanthin significantly prevented Aβ oligomer-induced alteration of the PI3K/Akt and ERK pathways. Furthermore, LY294002 and wortmannin, two PI3K inhibitors, abolished the neuroprotective effects of fucoxanthin against Aβ oligomer-induced neurotoxicity.


These results suggested that fucoxanthin might prevent Aβ oligomer-induced neuronal loss and oxidative stress via the activation of the PI3K/Akt cascade as well as inhibition of the ERK pathway, indicating that further studies of fucoxanthin and related compounds might lead to a useful treatment of AD.


Lin J1, Yu J1, Zhao J2, Zhang K1, Zheng J1, Wang J1, Huang C2, Zhang J2, Yan X2, Gerwick WH3, Wang Q1, Cui W1,2, He S2. Fucoxanthin, a Marine Carotenoid, Attenuates β-Amyloid Oligomer-Induced Neurotoxicity Possibly via Regulating the PI3K/Akt and the ERK Pathways in SH-SY5Y Cells. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017:6792543. 2017. doi: 10.1155/2017/6792543. Epub 8 Aug 2017.


The above research indicated that fucoxanthin may mitigate neuronal loss and oxidative stress, hence suggesting that further research may lead to a useful treatment for Alzheimer's disease (AD).

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