Indicaxanthin from cactus pear fruit exerts anti-inflammatory effects in carrageenin-induced rat pleurisy

J Nutr. 2014 Feb;144(2):185-92. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.183657. Epub 2013 Dec 4.

Abstract

Nutritional research has shifted recently from alleviating nutrient deficiencies to chronic disease prevention. We investigated the activity of indicaxanthin, a bioavailable phytochemical of the betalain class from the edible fruit of Opuntia ficus-indica (L. Miller) in a rat model of acute inflammation. Rat pleurisy was achieved by injection of 0.2 mL of λ-carrageenin in the pleural cavity, and rats were killed 4, 24, and 48 h later; exudates were collected to analyze inflammatory parameters, such as nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α); cells recruited in pleura were analyzed for cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activation. Indicaxanthin (0.5, 1, or 2 μmol/kg), given orally before carrageenin, time- and dose-dependently, reduced the exudate volume (up to 70%) and the number of leukocytes recruited in the pleural cavity (up to 95%) at 24 h. Pretreatment with indicaxanthin at 2 μmol/kg inhibited the carrageenin-induced release of PGE(2) (91.4%), NO (67.7%), IL-1β (53.6%), and TNF-α (71.1%), and caused a decrease of IL-1β (34.5%), TNF-α (81.6%), iNOS (75.2%), and COX2 (87.7%) mRNA, as well as iNOS (71.9%) and COX-2 (65.9%) protein expression, in the recruited leukocytes. Indicaxanthin inhibited time- and dose- dependently the activation of NF-κB, a key transcription factor in the whole inflammatory cascade. A pharmacokinetic study with a single 2 μmol/kg oral administration showed a maximum 0.22 ± 0.02 μmol/L (n = 15) plasma concentration of indicaxanthin, with a half-life of 1.15 ± 0.11 h. When considering the high bioavailability of indicaxanthin in humans, our findings suggest that this dietary pigment has the potential to improve health and prevent inflammation-based disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Betaxanthins / pharmacology
  • Betaxanthins / therapeutic use*
  • Carrageenan
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / diet therapy*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Opuntia / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Pleural Cavity / drug effects
  • Pleural Cavity / metabolism
  • Pleurisy / chemically induced
  • Pleurisy / diet therapy*
  • Pleurisy / drug therapy
  • Pleurisy / metabolism
  • Pyridines / pharmacology
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar

Substances

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Betaxanthins
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Plant Extracts
  • Pyridines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • indicaxanthin
  • Carrageenan