Aim and objective: Lycopene has antioxidant and anticancer effects but its barrier protective effects and underlying mechanism are not fully identified. The potential barrier protective roles of lycopene in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were investigated.
Methods: We determined the barrier protective effects of lycopene, such as permeability, leukocyte adhesion and migration, and activation of proinflammatory proteins in LPS-activated HUVECs.
Results: Lycopene inhibited vascular barrier permeability, expression of cell adhesion molecules, leukocyte adhesion and transendothelial migration in LPS-activated HUVECs. Further studies revealed that lycopene suppressed the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), CD14 and Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4).
Conclusion: These findings suggest that lycopene has barrier integrity activity, and inhibitory activity on cell adhesion and migration to endothelial cells by blocking the activation of NF-κB, CD14 and TLR4 expression and production of TNF-α, thereby endorsing its usefulness as therapy for vascular inflammatory diseases.