Anxiolytic potential of astaxanthin on experimental animal model
Keywords:Astaxanthin, Diazepam, Anxiety
Background: Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring carotenoid found in nature primarily in marine organisms. Carotenoids are well known for their therapeutic benefits in the aging process and various diseases, because of their antioxidant properties. Additionally, astaxanthin has well-documented anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating effects. It is a known fact that oxidative stress is associated with depression, anxiety, and related psychiatric disorders. Astaxanthin may also reduce oxidative stress in the nervous system, reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Although astaxanthin has the ability to cross the blood–brain barrier and has a beneficial effect on the CNS, the effects of astaxanthin on anxiety and depression have not been reported.
Methods: In this study, to investigate the effects of astaxanthin on anxiety, we performed some behavioural tests including elevated plus maze test, hole-board test, light/dark exploration test.
Results: In elevated plus maze test the time spent in the closed arm by astaxanthin treated rats was significantly (P <0.05) decreased as compared to control. The number of readings in both the arms was significantly (P <0.05) increased in astaxanthin treated rats as compared to control. In hole board apparatus, it showed anxiolytic response by significantly reduced the number of head poking. Increased number of entries in the bright side and decrease of time spent by the animal in dark side were observed in the light/dark exploration test.
Conclusions: The present study indicates that Astaxanthin produces anxiolytic response at the dose of 3 mg/kg on experimental animal model.
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