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Binxing Li, Preejith P Vachali, Aruna Gorusupudi, Zhengqing Shen, Kelly Nelson, Brian Besch, Paul S Bernstein; Long-Term Zeaxanthin Supplementation to the Mouse Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):3482.
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We have been able to reproducibly deliver the macular pigment (MP) carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin to the retina of beta-carotene oxygenase II knockout (BCO2-/-) mice by one month of oral carotenoid supplementation; however, the carotenoid amount in the supplemented mouse retina is still much lower than that in the human macula. In order to to try to deliver more macular pigment to the mouse retina, an 8-month zeaxanthin feeding study was carried out.
15 three-month-old BCO2 knockout (BCO2-/-) mice were fed with DSM zeaxanthin beadlets chow in this study (2.6 mg zeaxanthin / mouse / day). Retina, RPE, lens, liver and serum of 5 mice were collected at three different time points, 1 month, 4 months and 8 months, respectively. The zeaxanthin levels in the mouse tissues were analyzed by HPLC.
Zeaxanthin supplementation caused the retinas and many non-ocular organs of BCO2-/- mice to turn yellow in color, and the retinas of mice fed with zeaxanthin for 8 months showed the most intense yellow coloration. HPLC analysis of the retina showed a linear increase from 1 month to 8 month, reaching a maximum of 0.8 ng of zeaxanthin per pair of retinas, two times higher than the one- month level, and the RPE had an even higher level of 2.8 ng of zeaxanthin per eye. The carotenoid content in serum and liver reached the highest concentration of 768.3 ng/ml and 5496.6 ng/g at 4 month, respectively, and then dropped to 368.2 ng/ml and 4890.0 ng/g at 8 month.
Long-term zeaxanthin supplementation for eight months can double the carotenoid content in the retina of the BCO2-/- mouse relative to one month of feeding. Further optimization is still needed to elevate the content of carotenoid in the mouse retina to a level comparable to that of the human macula.
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