Lycopene supplementation restores vitamin A deficiency in mice and possesses thereby partial pro-vitamin A activity transmitted via RAR-signaling.

June 14, 2016

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical and Health Science Center, University of Debrecen, Hungary. 2Institute of Nutrition, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. 3Paprika Bioanalytics BT, Debrecen, Hungary. 4MTA-DE Public Health Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, University Debrecen, Hungary.

Aydemir G1, Kasiri Y1, Bartók EM1, Birta E1, Fröhlich K2, Böhm V2, Mihaly J1, Rühl R1,3,4.

The aim of this study was to compare if lycopene possesses also pro-vitamin A activity comparable to known vitamin A derivatives.
We used a transgenic retinoic acid response-element (RARE)-reporter mouse model (n = 8, per group) for this study, and after the initial wash out of vitamin A using a vitamin A deficient diet (VAD) for 18 weeks, the animals were supplemented further with a) VAD fed mice, b) VAD fed mice plus retinol (20 mg/kg bw), c) VAD fed mice plus β-carotene (40 mg/kg bw) and d) VAD fed mice plus lycopene (40 mg/kg bw). Using ex-vivo scanning and gene expression analysis of retinoid target and vitamin A marker gene analysis in various organs of these supplemented mice (b, c, d) we found increased luciferase activity and normalized marker and target gene analysis compared to group a.
Lycopene can restore vitamin A deficiency and compensate vitamin A for RAR-mediated signaling as the major function of vitamin A in the mammalian organism. Lycopene administration can initiate up-regulation of RAR-mediated signaling in various organs in VAD fed animals via potential novel bioactive lycopene-metabolites. This indicates that lycopene possesses partial pro-vitamin A activity in mice transmitted via RAR-mediated signaling. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.