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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DIETARY CAROTENOIDS, RETINOIDS, AND BIOACTIVATES ON HEALTHY AGING Title: Retinoids, carotenoids, and tocopherols in breast adipose tissue and serum of benign breast disease and breast cancer patients

Authors
item Shim, Eugene -
item Yeum, Kyung-Jin -
item Tang, Guangwen -
item Ahn, Sei Hyun -
item Hwang, Jinah -
item Lee-Kim, Yang Cha -

Submitted to: Nutrition and Cancer
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 3, 2012
Publication Date: October 12, 2012
Citation: Shim, E., Yeum, K., Tang, G., Ahn, S., Hwang, J., Lee-Kim, Y. 2012. Retinoids, carotenoids, and tocopherols in breast adipose tissue and serum of benign breast disease and breast cancer patients. Nutrition and Cancer. 64(7):956-963.

Interpretive Summary: Various forms of vitamin A (retinol and retinoic acids), carotenoids (plant pigments found in fruits and vegetables), and vitamin E concentrations were determined in both blood and breast fat tissue of 22 benign breast disease patients and 52 breast cancer patients categorized into 4 stages by malignancy. Vitamin A, carotenoids and vitamin E were analyzed by standard laboratory methods. The breast cancer patients showed significantly lower blood levels of retinol (the major form found in the blood) but significantly higher levels in breast fat tissue than those of benign breast disease patients. Although breast cancer patients showed significantly higher blood levels of retinoic acids, retinoic acid in breast fat tissue was significantly lower in the breast cancer patients than those of benign breast disease patients and it was associated with the stage of malignancy. The current study indicates that vitamin A in the target tissue of breast tumor patients does not reflect their concentrations in blood. The mechanisms of breast tissue uptake of vitamin A and its function warrant further studies.

Technical Abstract: Various retinoic acid (RA) isomers (all-trans, 13-cis, 11-cis, and 9-cis) as well as retinol, carotenoids, and tocopherol concentrations were determined in both serum and breast adipose tissue of 22 benign breast disease patients and 52 breast cancer patients categorized into 4 stages by malignancy. Serum RA isomers were analyzed by a newly developed sensitive method combining a high-performance liquid chromatography and a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and retinol, carotenoid, and tocopherol concentrations using a high-performance liquid chromatography system. The breast cancer patients showed significantly lower serum retinol, whereas significantly higher breast adipose tissue retinol concentration than those of benign breast disease patients. Although breast cancer patients showed significantly higher serum all-trans and 13-cis RA concentrations, 11-cis RA in breast adipose tissue was significantly lower in the breast cancer patients than those of benign breast disease patients and it was associated with the stage of malignancy. The current study indicates that the retinol and RA isomers in the target tissue of breast tumor patients are not reflecting their concentrations in circulation. The mechanisms of tissue specific uptake of RA isomers and their functions warrant further studies.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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