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Open AccessArticle

Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor Contributes to β-Carotene Uptake in the Maternal Liver

Department of Food Science and Rutgers Center for Lipid Research and New Jersey Institute of Food Nutrition and Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Department of Pathology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Columbia University, Integrated Graduate Program, New York, NY 10032, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2016, 8(12), 765;
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin A Update 2016)
Vitamin A regulates many essential mammalian biological processes, including embryonic development. β-carotene is the main source of vitamin A in the human diet. Once ingested, it is packaged into lipoproteins, predominantly low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and transported to different sites within the body, including the liver and developing tissues, where it can either be stored or metabolized to retinoids (vitamin A and its derivatives). The molecular mechanisms of β-carotene uptake by the liver or developing tissues remain elusive. Here, we investigated the role of the LDL receptor (LDLr) in β-carotene uptake by maternal liver, placenta and embryo. We administered a single dose of β-carotene to Ldlr+/− and Ldlr−/− pregnant mice via intraperitoneal injection at mid-gestation and monitored the changes in β-carotene content among maternal lipoproteins and the liver, as well as the accumulation of β-carotene in the placental–fetal unit. We showed an abnormal β-carotene distribution among serum lipoproteins and reduced hepatic β-carotene uptake in Ldlr−/− dams. These data strongly imply that LDLr significantly contributes to β-carotene uptake in the adult mouse liver. In contrast, LDLr does not seem to mediate acquisition of β-carotene by the placental–fetal unit. View Full-Text
Keywords: β-carotene uptake; vitamin A; LDL receptor; maternal liver β-carotene uptake; vitamin A; LDL receptor; maternal liver
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Shete, V.; Costabile, B.K.; Kim, Y.-K.; Quadro, L. Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor Contributes to β-Carotene Uptake in the Maternal Liver. Nutrients 2016, 8, 765.

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