Astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant, exhibits a wide range of biological activities, including antioxidant, atherosclerosis and antitumor activities. However, its effect on concanavalin A (ConA)-induced autoimmune hepatitis remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of astaxanthin on ConA-induced hepatitis in mice, and to elucidate the mechanisms of regulation. Autoimmune hepatitis was induced in in Balb/C mice using ConA (25 mg/kg), and astaxanthin was orally administered daily at two doses (20 mg/kg and 40 mg/kg) for 14 days before ConA injection. Levels of serum liver enzymes and the histopathology of inflammatory cytokines and other maker proteins were determined at three time points (2, 8 and 24 h). Primary hepatocytes were pretreated with astaxanthin (80 μM) in vitro 24 h before stimulation with TNF-α (10 ng/ml). The apoptosis rate and related protein expression were determined 24 h after the administration of TNF-α. Astaxanthin attenuated serum liver enzymes and pathological damage by reducing the release of inflammatory factors. It performed anti-apoptotic effects via the descending phosphorylation of Bcl-2 through the down-regulation of the JNK/p-JNK pathway. This research firstly expounded that astaxanthin reduced immune liver injury in ConA-induced autoimmune hepatitis. The mode of action appears to be downregulation of JNK/p-JNK-mediated apoptosis and autophagy.