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Lycopene Inhibits LPS-Induced Proinflammatory Mediator Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase in Mouse Macrophage Cells



ABSTRACT:  Lycopene is a fat-soluble red-orange carotenoid found primarily in tomatoes and tomato-derived products, including tomato sauce, tomato paste, and ketchup, and other dietary sources, including dried apricots, guava, watermelon, papaya, and pink grapefruit. In this study, we have demonstrated the molecular mechanism underlying the anti-inflammatory properties of lycopene using a mouse macrophage cell line (RAW 264.7). Treatment with lycopene (10 μM) inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated nitric oxide (NO) production (40% compared with the control). Western blotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis showed that lycopene treatment decreased LPS-induced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein and mRNA expression in RAW 264.7 cells, respectively. These results suggest that lycopene has anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting iNOS proteins and mRNA expressions in mouse macrophage cell lines. Furthermore, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein and mRNA expression were not affected by treatment with lycopene.