Young and geriatric healthy female Beagle dogs were fed 0 or 20 mg astaxanthin daily for 16 weeks to examine modulation of mitochondrial function. Fasted blood was sampled at weeks 0, 8 and 16. Mitochondria membrane permeability, ATP production, cytochrome c oxidase/reductase and number were assessed in leukocytes, while astaxanthin uptake, glutathione, superoxide dismutase, nitric oxide, 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine, 8-isoprostane and protein carbonyl were measured in plasma.
Aging increased complex III cytochrome c oxidoreductase but decreased 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine and protein carbonyl. Mitochondrial function improved in both young and geriatric dogs by increasing ATP production, mitochondria mass and cytochrome c oxidoreductase activity, especially in geriatric dogs compared with young dogs. Astaxanthin feeding also increased the reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione ratio in young dogs and decreased nitric oxide in both young and geriatric dogs.
Dietary astaxanthin improved mitochondrial function in blood leukocytes, most likely by alleviating oxidative damage to cellular DNA and protein.
Source : J.S. Park et al., 2012. Astaxanthin modulates age-associated mitochondrial dysfunction in healthy dogs. J Anim Sci online October 2012. doi: 10.2527/jas.2012-5341J