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Carotenoids exert a rich variety of physiological functions in mammals and are beneficial for human health. These lipids are acquired from the diet and metabolized to apocarotenoids, including retinoids (vitamin A and its metabolites). The small intestine is a major site for their absorption and bioconversion. From here, carotenoids and their metabolites are distributed within the body in triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins to support retinoid signaling in peripheral tissues and photoreceptor function in the eyes. In recent years, much progress has been made in identifying carotenoid metabolizing enzymes, transporters, and binding proteins. A diet-responsive regulatory network controls the activity of these components and adapts carotenoid absorption and bioconversion to the bodily requirements of these lipids. Genetic variability in the genes encoding these components alters carotenoid homeostasis and induces various pathologies in research animals. We here summarize the advanced state of knowledge about intestinal carotenoid metabolism and its impact on carotenoid and retinoid homeostasis of other organ systems, including the eyes, liver, and immune system. The implication of the findings for science-based intake recommendations for these essential dietary lipids is discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Carotenoids recent advances in cell and molecular biology edited by Johannes von Lintig and Loredana Quadro.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular and cell biology of lipids
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The barrier between the perineurium of PERIPHERAL NERVES and the endothelium (ENDOTHELIUM, VASCULAR) of endoneurial CAPILLARIES. The perineurium acts as a diffusion barrier, but ion permeability at the blood-nerve barrier is still higher than at the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER.
The property of blood capillary ENDOTHELIUM that allows for the selective exchange of substances between the blood and surrounding tissues and through membranous barriers such as the BLOOD-AIR BARRIER; BLOOD-AQUEOUS BARRIER; BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER; BLOOD-NERVE BARRIER; BLOOD-RETINAL BARRIER; and BLOOD-TESTIS BARRIER. Small lipid-soluble molecules such as carbon dioxide and oxygen move freely by diffusion. Water and water-soluble molecules cannot pass through the endothelial walls and are dependent on microscopic pores. These pores show narrow areas (TIGHT JUNCTIONS) which may limit large molecule movement.
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A specialized barrier in the kidney, consisting of the fenestrated CAPILLARY ENDOTHELIUM; GLOMERULAR BASEMENT MEMBRANE; and glomerular epithelium (PODOCYTES). The barrier prevents the filtration of PLASMA PROTEINS.
A specialized transport barrier, in the EYE, formed by the retinal pigment EPITHELIUM, and the ENDOTHELIUM of the BLOOD VESSELS of the RETINA. TIGHT JUNCTIONS joining adjacent cells keep the barrier between cells continuous.
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