Research Paper Volume 11, Issue 22 pp 10513—10531

Astaxanthin protects against osteoarthritis via Nrf2: a guardian of cartilage homeostasis

Kai Sun 1, , Jiahui Luo 2, , Xingzhi Jing 1, , Jiachao Guo 1, , Xudong Yao 1, , Xiaoxia Hao 3, , Yaping Ye 1, , Shuang Liang 1, , Jiamin Lin 1, , Genchun Wang 1, , Fengjing Guo 1, ,

  • 1 Department of Orthopedics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China
  • 2 The Center for Biomedical Research, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China
  • 3 Department of Rehabilitation, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China

received: July 31, 2019 ; accepted: November 8, 2019 ; published: November 26, 2019 ;

https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.102474
How to Cite

Copyright © 2019 Sun et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Scope: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive disease characterized by cartilage degradation. Astaxanthin (Ast), a natural compound with remarkable antioxidant activity and multiple medical applications due to its activation of Nrf2 signaling, has been studied for application to various degenerative diseases. Currently, however, little is known about its efficacy in treating OA. This study reports the effects of Ast on cartilage homeostasis in OA progression.

Methods: IL-1β, TNF-α, and tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) were used to impair cartilage homeostasis. Modulating effects of Ast on the Nrf2 signaling pathway, and damage-associated events including extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, inflammation, oxidative stress, chondrocyte apoptosis, and in vivo cartilage degradation were examined.

Results: Ast attenuated ECM degradation of OA chondrocytes through the Nrf2 signaling, and ameliorated the IL-1β-induced inflammatory response and ECM degradation via blockade of MAPK signaling. Additionally, Ast alleviated TNF-α-induced ECM degradation and chondrocyte apoptosis by inhibiting the NF-κB signaling, suppressed TBHP-induced oxidative stress, and subsequently reduced chondrocyte apoptosis. In vitro results were finally corroborated in vivo by demonstrating that Ast attenuates the severity of cartilage destruction in a mouse model of OA.

Conclusions: Ast could protect against osteoarthritis via the Nrf2 signaling, suggesting Ast might be a potential therapeutic supplement for OA treatment.

Abbreviations

OA: Osteoarthritis; Ast: Astaxanthin; ECM: extracellular matrix; iNOS: inducible nitric oxide synthase; COX-2: cyclooxygenase-2; MMPs: matrix metallopeptidase; ROS: reactive oxygen species; IL-1β: interleukin-1β; TNF-α: tumor necrosis factor-α; ADAMTS5: a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 5; DMM: destabilized medial meniscus; JNK: c-Jun N-terminal kinase; ERK: extracellular regulated kinase; NAC: N-acetyl-L-cysteine; H2O2: hydrogen peroxide; Nrf2: NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2; HO-1: heme oxygenase-1; NQO1: NADPH quinone oxidoreductase 1; TBHP: tert-butyl hydroperoxide.