Enriched Astaxanthin Extract from Haematococcus pluvialis Augments Growth Factor Secretions to Increase Cell Proliferation and Induces MMP1 Degradation to Enhance Collagen Production in Human Dermal Fibroblasts

Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Jun 16;17(6):955. doi: 10.3390/ijms17060955.


Among many antioxidants that are used for the repairing of oxidative stress induced skin damages, we identified the enriched astaxanthin extract (EAE) from Haematococcus pluvialis as a viable ingredient. EAE was extracted from the red microalgae through supercritical fluid carbon dioxide extraction. To compare the effectiveness, EAE wastreated on human dermal fibroblasts with other components, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), and doxycycline. With sirius red staining and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), we found that PMA decreased the collagen concentration and production while overall the addition of doxycycline and EAE increased the collagen concentration in a trial experiments. EAE increased collagen contents through inhibited MMP1 and MMP3 mRNA expression and induced TIMP1, the antagonists of MMPs protein, gene expression. As for when tested for various proteins through western blotting, it was seen that the addition of EAE increased the expression of certain proteins that promote cell proliferation. Testing those previous solutions using growth factor assay, it was noticeable that EAE had a positive impact on cell proliferation and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) than doxycycline, indicating that it was a better alternative treatment for collagen production. To sum up, the data confirmed the possible applications as medical cosmetology agentsand food supplements.

Keywords: Haematococcus pluvialis; doxycycline; enriched astaxanthin extract (EAE); phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA).

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Biphenyl Compounds / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chlorophyta / chemistry*
  • Collagen / biosynthesis*
  • Dermis / cytology*
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Iron Chelating Agents / pharmacology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / metabolism*
  • Picrates / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Iron Chelating Agents
  • Picrates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Collagen
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1