Lycopene Inhibits Smoke-Induced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Lung Carcinogenesis by Modulating Reverse Cholesterol Transport in Ferrets.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2019 Jul ;12(7):421-432. Epub 2019 Jun 8. PMID: 31177203
Jelena Mustra Rakic
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer share the same etiologic factor, cigarette smoking. Higher consumption of dietary lycopene has been associated with lower risks of COPD and lung cancer in smokers. We investigated whether lycopene feeding protects against COPD and lung cancer in ferrets, a nonrodent model that closely mimics cigarette smoke (CS)-induced chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and lung tumorigenesis in human. We also explored whether the protective effect of lycopene is associated with restoring reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), a key driver in persistent inflammation with CS exposure. Ferrets (4 groups,= 12-16/group) were exposed to a combination of tobacco carcinogen (NNK) and CS with or without consuming lycopene at low and high doses (equivalent to∼30 and ∼90 mg lycopene/day in human, respectively) for 22 weeks. Results showed that dietary lycopene at a high dose significantly inhibited NNK/CS-induced chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and preneoplastic lesions, including squamous metaplasia and atypical adenomatous hyperplasia, as compared with the NNK/CS alone (<0.05). Lycopene feeding also tended to decrease the lung neoplastic lesions. Furthermore, lycopene feeding significantly inhibited NNK/CS-induced accumulation of total cholesterol, and increased mRNA expression of critical genes related to the RCT (,, and ATP-binding cassette transportersand) in the lungs, which were downregulated by the NNK/CS exposure. The present study has provided the first evidence linking a protective role of dietary lycopene against COPD and preneoplastic lesions to RCT-mediated cholesterol accumulation in lungs.