Effects of Astaxanthin on Reverse Cholesterol Transport and Atherosclerosis in Mice.
Biomed Res Int. 2017 ;2017:4625932. Epub 2017 Nov 1. PMID: 29226138
High plasma level of HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) has been consistently associated with a decreased risk of atherosclerosis (AS); thus, HDL-C is considered to be an antiatherogenic lipoprotein. The development of novel therapies to enhance the atheroprotective properties of HDL may have the possibility of further reducing the residual AS risk. Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) is believed to be a primary atheroprotective activity of HDL, which has been shown to promote the efflux of excess cholesterol from macrophage-derived foam cells via ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1), ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1), and scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) and then transport it back to the liver for excretion into bile and eventually into the feces. In the current study, we investigated the effects of astaxanthin on RCT and AS progression in mice. The results showed that short- and long-term supplementation of astaxanthin promote RCT in C57BL/6J and ApoE-/- mice, respectively. Moreover, astaxanthin can relieve the plaque area of the aortic sinus and aortic cholesterol in mice. These findings suggest that astaxanthin is beneficial for boosting RCT and preventing the development of AS.