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Astaxanthin and Nrf2 signaling pathway: a novel target for new therapeutic approaches

Ashrafizadeh, Milad; Ahmadi, Zahra; Yaribeygi, Habib; Sathyapalan, Thozhukat; Sahebkar, Amirhossein


Milad Ashrafizadeh

Zahra Ahmadi

Habib Yaribeygi

Thozhukat Sathyapalan

Amirhossein Sahebkar


Astaxanthin (AST) is a naturally occurring compound isolated from various sources such as fungi, plants, salmon, and crab. However, Haematococcus Pluvialis, a green alga, is the primary source of this beta carotenoid compound. AST has several favourable biological and pharmacological activities such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-diabetes, hepatoprotective and neuroprotective. Nevertheless, the exact molecular mechanisms of these protective effects of AST are unclear yet. The Nrf2 signaling pathway is one of the critical candidate signaling pathways that may be involved in these beneficial effects of AST. This signaling pathway is responsible for maintaining the redox balance in the physiologic state. Upon nuclear translocation, Nrf2 signaling activates antioxidant enzymes to reduce oxidative stress and protect cells against damage. In the current study, we have reviewed the effects of AST on the Nrf2 signaling pathway, which could potentially be developed as a novel therapeutic approach for the management of various diseases.


Ashrafizadeh, M., Ahmadi, Z., Yaribeygi, H., Sathyapalan, T., & Sahebkar, A. (in press). Astaxanthin and Nrf2 signaling pathway: a novel target for new therapeutic approaches. Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, 21(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 6, 2021
Online Publication Date May 5, 2021
Deposit Date May 15, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 6, 2022
Journal Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry
Print ISSN 1389-5575
Publisher Bentham Science Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 1
Keywords Astaxanthin; Oxidative stress; Cardioprotective; Neuroprotective; Nrf2 signaling pathway; Renoprotective; Diabetes mellitus
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