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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 507272, 12 pages
Research Article

Lycopene Modulates THP1 and Caco2 Cells Inflammatory State through Transcriptional and Nontranscriptional Processes

1Laboratoire de Génie Génétique, Faculté de Pharmacie, Aix-Marseille Université, 27 boulevard Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille, France
2Advanced Diagnostics, Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, 101 College Street, TMDT, Rm. 3-301, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1L7
3INRA, UMR1260/1062 INSERM/AMU, Nutrition, Obésité et Risque Thrombotique, 27 boulevard Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille, France
4Laboratoire de Génie Génétique, INRA 1260, Faculté de Pharmacie, 27 boulevard Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille Cedex 5, France
5IMBE-UMR CNRS 7263/IRD 237, Mutagenèse Environnementale, Faculté de Pharmacie, Aix-Marseille Université, 27 boulevard Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille, France
6Laboratoires YVERY, 134 rue Edmond Rostand, 13008 Marseille, France

Received 7 February 2014; Revised 11 April 2014; Accepted 11 April 2014; Published 7 May 2014

Academic Editor: Stefanie B. Flohé

Copyright © 2014 Njock Makon-Sébastien et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We revisited the action of a carotenoid, the lycopene, on the expression of proinflammatory genes, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and metalloprotease (MMP9) activity. THP1 and Caco2 cell lines were used as in vitro models for the two main cell types found in intestine tissue, that is, monocytes and epithelial cells. Proinflammatory condition was induced using either phorbol ester acetate (PMA), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or tumor necrosis factor (TNF). In THP1 cells, short term pretreatment (2 h) with a low concentration (2 μM) of lycopene reinforce proinflammatory gene expression. The extent of the effect of lycopene is dependent on the proinflammtory stimulus (PMA, LPS or TNF) used. Lycopene enhanced MMP9 secretion via a c-AMP-dependent process, and reduced ROS production at higher concentrations than 2 μM. Cell culture media, conditioned by PMA-treated monocytes and then transferred on CaCo-2 epithelial cells, induced a proinflammatory state in these cells. The extent of this inflammatory effect was reduced when cells has been pretreated (12 h) with lycopene. At low concentration (2 μM or less), lycopene appeared to promote an inflammatory state not correlated with ROS modulation. At higher concentration (5 μM–20 μM), an anti-inflammatory effect takes place as a decrease of ROS production was detected. So, both concentration and time have to be considered in order to define the exact issue of the effect of carotenoids present in meals.