Astaxanthin enhances ATP-binding cassette transporter A1/G1 expressions and cholesterol efflux from macrophages.
ABSTRACT ATP-binding cassette transporters (ABC) A1 and G1 are key molecules in cholesterol efflux from macrophages, which is an initial step of reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), a major anti-atherogenic property of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Astaxanthin is one of the naturally occurring carotenoids responsible for the pink-red pigmentation in a variety of living organisms. Although astaxanthin is known to be a strong antioxidant, it remains unclear through what mechanism of action it affects cholesterol homeostasis in macrophages. We therefore investigated the effects of astaxanthin on cholesterol efflux and ABCA1/G1 expressions in macrophages. Astaxanthin enhanced both apolipoprotein (apo) A-I- and HDL-mediated cholesterol efflux from RAW264.7 cells. In supporting these enhanced cholesterol efflux mechanisms, astaxanthin promoted ABCA1/G1 expression in various macrophages. In contrast, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, liver X receptor (LXR) α and LXRβ levels remained unchanged by astaxanthin. An experiment using actinomycin D demonstrated that astaxanthin transcriptionally induced ABCA1/G1 expression, and oxysterol depletion caused by overexpression of cholesterol sulfotransferase further revealed that these inductions in ABCA1/G1 were independent of LXR-mediated pathways. Finally, we performed luciferase assays using human ABCA1/G1 promoter-reporter constructs to reveal that astaxanthin activated both promoters irrespective of the presence or absence of LXR-responsive elements, indicating LXR-independence of these activations. In conclusion, astaxanthin increased ABCA1/G1 expression, thereby enhancing apoA-I/HDL-mediated cholesterol efflux from the macrophages in an LXR-independent manner. In addition to the anti-oxidative properties, the potential cardioprotective properties of astaxanthin might therefore be associated with an enhanced anti-atherogenic function of HDL.
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ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developed societies, and begins when activated endothelial cells recruit monocytes and T-cells from the bloodstream into the arterial wall. Macrophages that accumulate cholesterol and other fatty materials are transformed into foam cells. Several epidemiological studies have demonstrated that a diet rich in carotenoids is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease; while previous work in our laboratory has shown that the 9-cis β-carotene rich alga Dunaliella inhibits atherogenesis in mice. The effect of 9-cis β-carotene on macrophage foam cell formation has not yet been investigated. In the present work, we sought to study whether the 9-cis β-carotene isomer, isolated from the alga Dunaliella, can inhibit macrophage foam cell formation upon its conversion to retinoids. The 9-cis β-carotene and Dunaliella lipid extract inhibited foam cell formation in the RAW264.7 cell line, similar to 9-cis retinoic acid. Furthermore, dietary enrichment with the algal powder in mice resulted in carotenoid accumulation in the peritoneal macrophages and in the inhibition of foam cell formation ex-vivo and in-vivo. We also found that the β-carotene cleavage enzyme β-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase (BCMO1) is expressed and active in macrophages. Finally, 9-cis β-carotene, as well as the Dunaliella extract, activated the nuclear receptor RXR in hepa1-6 cells. These results indicate that dietary carotenoids, such as 9-cis β-carotene, accumulate in macrophages and can be locally cleaved by endogenous BCMO1 to form 9-cis retinoic acid and other retinoids. Subsequently, these retinoids activate the nuclear receptor RXR that, along with additional nuclear receptors, can affect various metabolic pathways, including those involved in foam cell formation and atherosclerosis.PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e0115272. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115272 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Elevated serum cholesterol concentrations in mid-life increase risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) in later life. However, lower concentrations of cholesterol-carrying high density lipoprotein (HDL) and its principal apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1) correlate with increased risk for AD. As HDL transports oxocarotenoids, which are scavengers of peroxynitrite, we have investigated the hypothesis that lower HDL and oxocarotenoid concentrations during AD may render HDL susceptible to nitration and oxidation and in turn reduce the efficiency of reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) from lipid-laden cells. Fasting blood samples were obtained from subjects with 1) AD without cardiovascular comorbidities and risk factors (AD); 2) AD with cardiovascular comorbidities and risk factors (AD Plus); 3) normal cognitive function; for carotenoid determination by HPLC, analysis of HDL nitration and oxidation by ELISA, and 3H-cholesterol export to isolated HDL. HDL concentration in the plasma from AD Plus patients was significantly lower compared to AD or control subject HDL levels. Similarly, lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin concentrations were significantly lower in AD Plus patients compared to those in control subjects or AD patients, and oxocarotenoid concentrations correlated with Mini-Mental State Examination scores. At equivalent concentrations of ApoA1, HDL isolated from all subjects irrespective of diagnosis was equally effective at mediating RCT. HDL concentration is lower in AD Plus patients' plasma and thus capacity for RCT is compromised. In contrast, HDL from patients with AD-only was not different in concentration, modifications, or function from HDL of healthy age-matched donors. The relative importance of elevating HDL alone compared with elevating carotenoids alone or elevating both to reduce risk for dementia should be investigated in patients with early signs of dementia.Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 01/2014; 40(2). DOI:10.3233/JAD-131964 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This review covers current analytical techniques, instruments and methodologies used in analysis of carotenoids in foods and human samples. We also cover the importance of carotenoids in human health, carotenoid content in foods, bioavailability of carotenoids and evaluation of human intake of carotenoids. There is a wide variety of extraction methods and analytical techniques for determination of carotenoids. Recent advances in analytical instruments and the discovery of unknown metabolites of carotenoids widened the scope of carotenoid studies, especially through the application of metabolomics tools. Omics instruments and statistical methods perform untargeted and targeted profiling of carotenoids in foods and human samples, so advancing knowledge of the composition of food containing carotenoids and their role in human health. Aimed at collating valuable information about recent analytical methodologies for carotenoids, this review mainly focuses on studies released in the past five years (2009–13).TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry 04/2014; 56. DOI:10.1016/j.trac.2013.12.011 · 6.61 Impact Factor