Open Access
Research (Published online: 10-06-2018)
8. Astaxanthin inhibits cytokines production and inflammatory gene expression by suppressing IκB kinase-dependent nuclear factor κB activation in pre and postpartum Murrah buffaloes during different seasons
Lakshmi Priyadarshini and Anjali Aggarwal
Veterinary World, 11(6): 782-788

Lakshmi Priyadarshini: Animal Physiology Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal - 132 001, Haryana, India.
Anjali Aggarwal: Animal Physiology Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal - 132 001, Haryana, India.

doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2018.782-788

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Article history: Received: 23-12-2017, Accepted: 04-05-2018, Published online: 10-06-2018

Corresponding author: Lakshmi Priyadarshini


Citation: Priyadarshini L, Aggarwal A (2018) Astaxanthin inhibits cytokines production and inflammatory gene expression by suppressing IκB kinase-dependent nuclear factor κB activation in pre and postpartum Murrah buffaloes during different seasons, Veterinary World, 11(6): 782-788.

Aim: We examined regulatory function of astaxanthin on mRNA expression of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65, interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in pre and postpartum Murrah buffaloes during summer (temperature-humidity index [THI]=86; relative humidity [RH]=24) and winter (THI=58.74; RH=73) seasons.

Materials and Methods: A total of 32 Murrah buffaloes apparently healthy and in their one to four parity were selected from National Dairy Research Institute herd and equally distributed randomly into four groups (control and supplemented groups of buffaloes during summer and winter season, respectively). All groups were fed according to the nutrient requirement of buffaloes (ICAR, 2013). The treatment group was supplemented with astaxanthin at 0.25 mg/kg body weight/animal/day during the period 30 days before expected date of calving and up to 30 days postpartum.

Results: There was downregulation of NF-κB p65 gene in all the groups. NF-κB p65 mRNA expression was lower (p<0.05) in treatment than control group from prepartum to postpartum during summer, while mRNA expression was low only on day 21 after calving during winter season. The mRNA expression of IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ was lower (p<0.05) in treatment than a control group of buffaloes during summer and winter seasons. The mRNA expression of NF-κB p65, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ was higher (p<0.05) in summer than in winter seasons.

Conclusion: The xanthophyll carotenoid astaxanthin a reddish-colored C-40 compound is a powerful broad-ranging antioxidant that naturally occurs in a wide variety of living organisms, such as microalgae, fungi, crustaceans, and complex plants. Astaxanthin blocked nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 subunit and IκBa degradation, which correlated with its inhibitory effect on IκB kinase (IKK) activity. These results suggest that astaxanthin, probably due to its antioxidant activity, inhibits the production of inflammatory mediators by blocking NF-κB activation and as a consequent suppression of IKK activity and IκB-degradation.

Keywords: astaxanthin, Murrah buffalo, nuclear factor κB p65, summer, winter.


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