The effects of oral Cardax (disodium disuccinate astaxanthin) on multiple independent oxidative stress markers in a mouse peritoneal inflammation model: influence on 5-lipoxygenase in vitro and in vivo

Life Sci. 2006 Jun 6;79(2):162-74. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2005.12.052. Epub 2006 Feb 8.


Disodium disuccinate astaxanthin ('rac'-dAST; Cardax) is a water-dispersible C40 carotenoid derivative under development for oral and parenteral administration for cardioprotection of the at-risk ischemic cardiovascular patient. In experimental infarction models in animals (rats, rabbits, and dogs), significant myocardial salvage has been obtained, up to 100% at the appropriate dose in dogs. The documented mechanism of action in vitro includes direct scavenging of biologically produced superoxide anion; in vivo in rabbits, modulation of the complement activity of serum has also been shown. A direct correlation between administration of the test compound in animals and reductions of multiple, independent markers of oxidative stress in serum was recently obtained in a rat experimental infarction model. For the current study, it was hypothesized that oral Cardax administration would inhibit oxidative damage of multiple relevant biological targets in a representative, well-characterized murine peritoneal inflammation model. A previously developed mass spectrometry-based (LC/ESI/MS/MS) approach was used to interrogate multiple distinct pathways of oxidation in a black mouse (C57/BL6) model system. In vivo markers of oxidant stress from peritoneal lavage samples (supernatants) were evaluated in mice on day eight (8) after treatment with either Cardax or vehicle (lipophilic emulsion without drug) orally by gavage at 500 mg/kg once per day for seven (7) days at five (5) time points: (1) baseline prior to treatment (t=0); (2) 16 h following intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection with thioglycollate to elicit a neutrophilic infiltrate; (3) 4 h following i.p. injection of yeast cell wall (zymosan; t=16 h/4 h thioglycollate+zymosan); (4) 72 h following i.p. injection with thioglycollate to elicit monocyte/macrophage infiltration; and (5) 72 h/4 h thioglycollate+zymosan. A statistically significant sparing effect on the arachidonic acid (AA) and linoleic acid (LA) substrates was observed at time points two and five. When normalized to the concentration of the oxidative substrates, statistically significant reductions of 8-isoprostane-F(2alpha) (8-iso-F(2alpha)) at time point three (maximal neutrophil recruitment/activation), and 5-HETE, 5-oxo-EET, 11-HETE, 9-HODE, and PGF(2alpha) at time point five (maximal monocyte/macrophage recruitment/activation) were observed. Subsequently, the direct interaction of the optically inactive stereoisomer of Cardax (meso-dAST) with human 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) was evaluated in vitro with circular dichroism (CD) and electronic absorption (UV/Vis) spectroscopy, and subsequent molecular docking calculations were made using mammalian 15-LOX as a surrogate (for which XRC data has been reported). The results suggested that the meso-compound was capable of interaction with, and binding to, the solvent-exposed surface of the enzyme. These preliminary studies provide the foundation for more detailed evaluation of the therapeutic effects of this compound on the 5-LOX enzyme, important in chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, asthma, and prostate cancer in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase / pharmacology*
  • Biomarkers
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Circular Dichroism
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Molecular
  • Neutrophil Infiltration / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Peritonitis / drug therapy*
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Succinates / chemistry
  • Succinates / pharmacology*
  • Xanthophylls / chemistry
  • Xanthophylls / pharmacology*
  • Zymosan


  • Biomarkers
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Succinates
  • Xanthophylls
  • succinic acid mono-(4-(18-(4-(3-carboxypropionyloxy)-2,6,6-trimethyl-3-oxocyclohex-1-enyl)-3,7,12,16-tetramethyloctadeca-1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17-nonaenyl)-3,5,5-trimethyl-2-oxocyclohex-3-enyl) ester
  • astaxanthine
  • Zymosan
  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase