Scope: Little information is available on differences, commonalities and especially interactions in overall gene expression responses as a result of diet, differences in sex (male and female) and effects induced by differences in metabolism. Moreover, it is unknown whether such effects are tissue specific.
Methods and results: We investigated the gene expression effects induced by β-carotene (BC) supplementation, knockout of β-carotene 15,15′-monooxygenase 1 (Bcmo1) and differences between male and female mice in lung, liver and inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT). Unsupervised principal component analysis showed that lung gene expression was most affected by knockout of Bcmo1. Liver was most affected by knockout of Bcmo1 and differences in sex. iWAT was most affected by differences in sex. Hardly any genes were commonly influenced by BC among the three tissues. The effect of BC supplementation and knockout of Bcmo1 were relatively sex specific, especially in iWAT.
Conclusion: These data demonstrate that gene expression differences induced by BC are limited to the tissue and sex that is analyzed, and that differences in metabolism induced by for example single nucleotide polymorphisms, should be taken into account as much as possible. Moreover, our results indicate that translation from one tissue to the other should be done with caution for any nutritional intervention.