, Volume 67, Issue 12, pp 2039-2056,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 06 Apr 2010

Knockout of the Bcmo1 gene results in an inflammatory response in female lung, which is suppressed by dietary beta-carotene


Beta-carotene 15,15′-monooxygenase 1 knockout (Bcmo1 −/−) mice accumulate beta-carotene (BC) similarly to humans, whereas wild-type (Bcmo1 +/+) mice efficiently cleave BC. Bcmo1 / mice are therefore suitable to investigate BC-induced alterations in gene expression in lung, assessed by microarray analysis. Bcmo1 / mice receiving control diet had increased expression of inflammatory genes as compared to BC-supplemented Bcmo1 / mice and Bcmo1 +/+ mice that received either control or BC-supplemented diets. Differential gene expression in Bcmo1 / mice was confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR. Histochemical analysis indeed showed an increase in inflammatory cells in lungs of control Bcmo1 / mice. Supported by metabolite and gene-expression data, we hypothesize that the increased inflammatory response is due to an altered BC metabolism, resulting in an increased vitamin A requirement in Bcmo1 −/− mice. This suggests that effects of BC may depend on inter-individual variations in BC-metabolizing enzymes, such as the frequently occurring human polymorphisms in BCMO1.