Astaxanthin and peridinin inhibit oxidative damage in Fe(2+)-loaded liposomes: scavenging oxyradicals or changing membrane permeability?

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Oct 19;288(1):225-32. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2001.5765.


Astaxanthin and peridinin, two typical carotenoids of marine microalgae, and lycopene were incorporated in phosphatidylcholine multilamellar liposomes and tested as inhibitors of lipid oxidation. Contrarily to peridinin results, astaxanthin strongly reduced lipid damage when the lipoperoxidation promoters-H(2)O(2), tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-ButOOH) or ascorbate-and Fe(2+):EDTA were added simultaneously to the liposomes. In order to check if the antioxidant activity of carotenoids was also related to their effect on membrane permeability, the peroxidation processes were initiated by adding the promoters to Fe(2+)-loaded liposomes (encapsulated in the inner aqueous solution). Despite that the rigidifying effect of carotenoids in membranes was not directly measured here, peridinin probably has decreased membrane permeability to initiators (t-ButOOH > ascorbate > H(2)O(2)) since its incorporation limited oxidative damage on iron-liposomes. On the other hand, the antioxidant activity of astaxanthin in iron-containing vesicles might be derived from its known rigidifying effect and the inherent scavenging ability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology*
  • Cell Membrane Permeability / drug effects
  • Chromans / pharmacology
  • Free Radical Scavengers / administration & dosage
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Iron / pharmacology*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liposomes
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Xanthophylls
  • beta Carotene / administration & dosage
  • beta Carotene / analogs & derivatives*
  • beta Carotene / pharmacology*
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Chromans
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Liposomes
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Xanthophylls
  • beta Carotene
  • peridinin
  • Carotenoids
  • astaxanthine
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Iron
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • 6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic acid