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Genes Nutr. 2009 Mar;4(1):23-39. doi: 10.1007/s12263-008-0108-z. Epub 2008 Dec 18.

Effects of dietary carotenoids on mouse lung genomic profiles and their modulatory effects on short-term cigarette smoke exposures.

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  • 1Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine, Clinical Nutrition and Vascular Medicine, Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility, University of California, 6404A, 451 East Health Sciences Drive, Davis, CA, 95616, USA.


Male C57BL/6 mice were fed diets supplemented with either beta-carotene (BC) or lycopene (LY) that were formulated for human consumption. Four weeks of dietary supplementations results in plasma and lung carotenoid (CAR) concentrations that approximated the levels detected in humans. Bioactivity of the CARs was determined by assaying their effects on the activity of the lung transcriptome (~8,500 mRNAs). Both CARs activated the cytochrome P450 1A1 gene but only BC induced the retinol dehydrogenase gene. The contrasting effects of the two CARs on the lung transcriptome were further uncovered in mice exposed to cigarette smoke (CS) for 3 days; only LY activated ~50 genes detected in the lungs of CS-exposed mice. These genes encoded inflammatory-immune proteins. Our data suggest that mice offer a viable in vivo model for studying bioactivities of dietary CARs and their modulatory effects on lung genomic expression in both health and after exposure to CS toxicants.

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