Dietary supplementation with beta-carotene, but not with lycopene, inhibits endothelial cell-mediated oxidation of low-density lipoprotein
Dugas, T.R.; Morel, D.W.; Harrison, E.H.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 26(9-10): 1238-1244
ISSN/ISBN: 0891-5849 PMID: 10381195 Accession: 010460471
Carotenoids may protect low-density lipoprotein from oxidation, a process implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. Our previous studies showed that in vitro enrichment of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) with beta-carotene protected it from cell-mediated oxidation. However, in vitro enrichment with either lutein or lycopene actually enhanced oxidation of the LDL. In the present studies we have examined the impact of LDL carotenoid content on its oxidation by human aortic endothelial cells (EaHy-1) in culture, comparing the effects of in vivo supplementation with in vitro enrichments. The beta-carotene content in human LDL was increased three- to sixfold by daily supplementation with 15 mg beta-carotene for 4 weeks, and the lycopene content of LDL in other individuals was increased two- to threefold by ingestion of one glass (12 ounce) of tomato juice daily for 3 weeks. LDL isolated from these healthy, normolipidemic donors not taking supplemental carotenoid was incubated at 0.25 mg protein/ml with EaHy-1 cells in Ham's F-10 medium for up to 48 h. Following dietary beta-carotene supplementation, LDL oxidation (as assessed by formation of lipid hydroperoxides) was markedly inhibited, to an even greater extent than was observed for LDL enriched in vitro with beta-carotene (that resulted in an 11- to 12-fold increase in LDL beta-carotene). No effect on cell-mediated oxidation was observed, however, for LDL enriched in vivo with lycopene. Thus, beta-carotene appears to function as an antioxidant in protecting LDL from cell-mediated oxidation although lycopene does not. The fact that the three- to sixfold enrichments of LDL with beta-carotene achieved by dietary supplementation were more effective in inhibiting oxidation than the 11- to 12-fold enrichments achieved by an in vitro method suggests that dietary supplementation is a more appropriate procedure for studies involving the enrichment of lipoprotein with carotenoids.