BC. Two days after supplementation with 5 microM BC in MbetaCD, cellular BC levels reached a maximum of 140+/-11 pmol/microg DNA, leveling off to 100+/-15 pmol/microg DNA until day 8. Incubation with BC dissolved in THF/DMSO resulted in a lower BC uptake of 105+/-14 pmol/microg DNA and 64+/-20 pmol/microg DNA respectively. No cytotoxic effects of these formulations were detected. The results show that the MbetaCD formulation is an improved method for investigations of carotenoids and other lipophilic compounds in in vitro test systems compared to methods using organic solvents.