Prostate cells exposed to lycopene in vitro liberate lycopene-enriched exosomes

A. Goyal, G. Delves, Mridula Chopra, B. Lwaleed, Alan Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES To investigate whether cellular exosomes liberated by prostatic cell lines in culture might be acting as the transport vehicles for the dietary antioxidant lycopene, known to be sequestered in the prostate gland and to reduce the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer; its subsequent secretion into seminal plasma also confers protection to spermatozoa against oxidative free-radical damage. MATERIALS AND METHODS Using benign and malignant human prostatic cell culture models, we assessed the role that their exosomes (the putative in vitro analogues of prostasomes) might have in the transport of lycopene. RESULTS Cells exposed to lycopene in vitro accumulated the molecule and secrete lycopene-enriched exosomes. This continued after the lycopene exposure was stopped. Extraction of lycopene from the exosomes, followed by high-performance liquid chromatography, confirmed nanogram quantities of lycopene per milligram of exosomal protein. Packaging into exosomes for export resulted in reduced degradation of this labile antioxidant, and therefore maximized the effectiveness of delivery to the sites of action. CONCLUSION These results support the likelihood that these organelles act as the transport vehicles for this important lipophilic agent known to have a role in the chemoprevention of various urological pathologies such as BPH, prostate cancer and male infertility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-911
Number of pages5
JournalBJU International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


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