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Eur J Nutr. 2013 Apr;52(3):1077-87. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0414-5. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Trans-epithelial transport of the betalain pigments indicaxanthin and betanin across Caco-2 cell monolayers and influence of food matrix.

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Molecolari e Biomolecolari (STEMBIO), Università di Palermo, Via Michele Cipolla 74, 90123, Palermo, Italy.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study investigated the absorption mechanism of the phytochemicals indicaxanthin and betanin and the influence of their food matrix (cactus pear and red beet) on the intestinal transport.

METHODS:

Trans-epithelial transport of dietary-consistent amounts of indicaxanthin and betanin in Caco-2 cell monolayers seeded on Transwell(R) inserts was measured in apical to basolateral (AP-BL) and basolateral to apical (BL-AP) direction, under an inwardly directed pH gradient (pH 6.0/7.4, AP/BL) mimicking luminal and serosal sides of human intestinal epithelium. The effect of inhibitors of membrane transporters on the absorption was also evaluated. Contribution of the paracellular route was investigated after EDTA treatment of the cell monolayer. In vitro digestion of betalainic food was performed to provide a post-intestinal fraction containing bioaccessible pigments.

RESULTS:

Apparent permeability coefficients (P(app)) in the absorptive direction were (4.4 ± 0.4) × 10⁻⁶ and (3.2 ± 0.3) × 10⁻⁶ cm s⁻¹ for indicaxanthin and betanin, respectively. Transport of indicaxanthin was non-polarized, linear as a function of time and concentration, and unaffected by inhibitors of membrane transporters. Betanin exhibited significantly different bidirectional P(app) values and non-linear efflux kinetics. The concentration-dependent betanin efflux was described by a kinetic model including one non-saturable (K(d) = 0.042 μL cm⁻² min⁻¹) and one saturable component identified as the apical multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2; K(m) = 275 μM; J(max) = 42 pmol min⁻¹ cm⁻²). Permeation of both betalains increased remarkably after EDTA treatment of the cell monolayer. Neither indicaxanthin nor betanin underwent metabolic transformation. Food matrix did not affect trans-epithelial transfer of indicaxanthin, but reduced the absorption rate of betanin, red beet more than cactus pear.

CONCLUSIONS:

Dietary indicaxanthin and betanin can substantially be absorbed through paracellular junctions of intestinal epithelial cells. Additional trans-membrane permeation can be considered for betanin, whose absorption is limited by a MRP2-mediated efflux and negatively affected by its food matrix. Present findings are consistent with the quite higher bioavailability of indicaxanthin over betanin established in humans.

PMID:
22806766
DOI:
10.1007/s00394-012-0414-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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