Fucoxanthin, a carotenoid derived from Phaeodactylum tricornutum exerts antiproliferative and antioxidant activities in vitro
Microalgae contain a multitude of nutrients and can be grown sustainably. Fucoxanthin, a carotenoid from Phaeodactylum tricornutum, could have beneficial health effects. Therefore, we investigated the anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and antiproliferative effects of fucoxanthin derived from this diatom in vitro. The effects of purified fucoxanthin on metabolic activity were assessed in blood mononuclear cells and different cell lines. In cell lines, caspase 3/7 activity was also analyzed. Nitrogen monoxide release and mRNA-expression of proinflammatory cytokines were measured. For antioxidant assays, cell free assays were conducted. Additionally, the antioxidant effect in neutrophils was quantified and glutathione was determined in HeLa cells. The results show that neither did fucoxanthin have anti-inflammatory properties nor did it exert cytotoxic effects on mononuclear cells. However, the metabolic activity of cell lines was decreased up to 58% and fucoxanthin increased the caspase 3/7 activity up to 4.6-fold. Additionally, dose-dependent antioxidant effects were detected, resulting in a 63% decrease in chemiluminescence in blood neutrophils and a 3.3-fold increase in the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione. Our studies show that fucoxanthin possesses antiproliferative and antioxidant activities in vitro. Hence, this carotenoid or the whole microalgae P. tricornutum could be considered as a food or nutraceutical in human nutrition, showcasing beneficial health effects.