Anti-inflammatory activity of lycopene isolated from Chlorella marina on type II collagen induced arthritis in Sprague Dawley rats

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2013 Apr;35(2):282-91. doi: 10.3109/08923973.2012.742534. Epub 2012 Dec 14.


The role of commercially available lycopene (all-trans) from tomato in controlling arthritis has been reported. Even though many reports are available that the cis form of lycopene is more biologically active, no report seems to be available on lycopene (cis and trans) isolated from an easily available and culturable sources. In the present study, the anti-arthritic effect of lycopene (cis and trans) from the algae Chlorella marina (AL) has been compared with lycopene (all-trans) from tomato (TL) and indomethacin (Indo). Arthritis (CIA) was developed in male Sprague dawley rats by collagen and the following parameters were studied. The activities of inflammatory marker enzymes like cyclooxygenase (COX), lipoxygenase (LOX) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) were found to be decreased on treatment with AL when compared to TL and Indo. Changes in Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), white blood cell (WBC) count, red blood cells (RBC) count, hemoglobin (Hb), C-reactive protein (CRP), rheumatoid factor (RF), and ceruloplasmin levels observed in the blood of arthritic animals were brought back to normal by AL when compared to TL and Indo. Histopathology of paw and joint tissues showed marked reduction in edema on supplementation of AL. Thus these results indicate the potential beneficiary effect of algal lycopene on collagen induced arthritis in rats when compared to TL and even to the commonly used anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin. Therefore lycopene from C. marina would be recommended as a better natural source with increased activity and without side effects in the treatment of anti-inflammatory diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / blood
  • Arthritis, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / metabolism
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Carotenoids / isolation & purification
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology*
  • Ceruloplasmin / pharmacology
  • Chlorella / chemistry*
  • Collagen Type II
  • Edema / drug therapy
  • Edema / metabolism
  • Erythrocyte Count / methods
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Hemoglobins / drug effects
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology
  • Joints / drug effects
  • Joints / metabolism
  • Leukocyte Count / methods
  • Lycopene
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / chemistry
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rheumatoid Factor / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Collagen Type II
  • Hemoglobins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Carotenoids
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Rheumatoid Factor
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • Lycopene
  • Indomethacin