The natural carotenoid crocetin has been reported to suppress phenotypes of an experimental myopia model in mice. We investigated the minimum effective dose to prevent myopia progression in a murine model. Three-week-old male mice (C57B6/J) were equipped with a -30 diopter (D) lens to induce myopia, and fed with normal chow, 0.0003%, or 0.001% of crocetin-containing chow. Changes in refractive errors and axial lengths (AL) were evaluated after three weeks. Pharmacokinetics of crocetin in the plasma and the eyeballs of mice was evaluated with specific high sensitivity quantitative analysis using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to determine the minimum effective dosage. A concentration of 0.001% of crocetin-containing chow showed a significant (p < 0.001) suppressive effect against both refractive and AL changes in the murine model. Meanwhile, there was no significant difference of AL change between the 0.0003% and the normal chow groups. The concentration of crocetin in the plasma and the eyeballs from mice fed with 0.001% crocetin-containing chow was significantly higher than control and 0.0003% crocetin-containing chow. In conclusion, we suggest 0.001% of crocetin-containing extract is the minimum effective dose showing a significant suppressive effect against both refractive and AL changes in the murine model.
Keywords: axial length; crocetin; minimum effective dose; myopia; myopia control; refraction; supplement.