Fucoxanthin is isolated from brown algae and was previously reported to have multiple pharmacological effects, including anti-tumor and anti-obesity effects in mice. Fucoxanthin also decreases the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of asthmatic mice. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of fucoxanthin on the oxidative and inflammatory responses in inflammatory human tracheal epithelial BEAS-2B cells and attenuated airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), airway inflammation, and oxidative stress in asthmatic mice. Fucoxanthin significantly decreased monocyte cell adherence to BEAS-2B cells. In addition, fucoxanthin inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, eotaxin, and reactive oxygen species in BEAS-2B cells. Ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice were treated by intraperitoneal injections of fucoxanthin (10 mg/kg or 30 mg/kg), which significantly alleviated AHR, goblet cell hyperplasia and eosinophil infiltration in the lungs, and decreased Th2 cytokine production in the BALF. Furthermore, fucoxanthin significantly increased glutathione and superoxide dismutase levels and reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the lungs of asthmatic mice. These data demonstrate that fucoxanthin attenuates inflammation and oxidative stress in inflammatory tracheal epithelial cells and improves the pathological changes related to asthma in mice. Thus, fucoxanthin has therapeutic potential for improving asthma.
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