β-Carotene uptake and tissue distribution in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo)

E. T. Gugger, T. L. Bierer, T. M. Henze, W. S. White, J. W. Erdman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ferrets accumulate β-carotene in liver and adipose tissue after chronic feeding. This study was designed to further evaluate the time course of uptake and depletion of β-carotene in ferret serum and tissues. Male ferrets (n = 15; 1000-1200 g) were given a single dose of β-carotene (10 mg/kg body wt) with a meal. Animals were killed at various time points over an 11-d period. Blood and tissue samples were extracted and analyzed for β-carotene by HPLC. Peak serum β-carotene levels (0.68 ± 0.18 μmol/L) were observed 8 h after the test meal. β-Carotene was essentially cleared from the blood by 76 h. Peak β-carotene concentrations (nmol/g) were observed between 8 and 16 h after ingestion for liver (1.20 ± 0.04), lung (0.042 ± 0.012), kidney (0.090 ± 0.015) and spleen (0.076 ± 0.012). Ferret liver also seemed to contain a variety of other polar and nonpolar carotenoids. Ferrets were shown to absorb β-carotene from a meal and have a consistent serum response pattern. Absorbed β-carotene is differentially distributed in a variety of tissues. The ferret seems to be a useful model for the study of β-carotene absorption and metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-119
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume122
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

Keywords

  • absorption
  • ferrets
  • vitamin A
  • β-carotene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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