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Tropical bat as mammalian model for skin carotenoid metabolism

AutorGalván, Ismael ; Garrido Fernández, J. ; Ríos Martín, José Julián ; Pérez Gálvez, Antonio ; Rodríguez-Herrera, Bernal; Negro, Juan J.
Palabras claveBats
Carotenoids
Macular degeneration
Skin coloration
Fecha de publicación27-sep-2016
EditorNational Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
CitaciónProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 113 (39): 10932–10937 (2016)
ResumenAnimals cannot synthesize carotenoid pigments de novo, and must consume them in their diet. Most mammals, including humans, are indiscriminate accumulators of carotenoids but inefficiently distribute them to some tissues and organs, such as skin. This limits the potential capacity of these organisms to benefit from the antioxidant and immunostimulatory functions that carotenoids fulfill. Indeed, to date, no mammal has been known to have evolved physiological mechanisms to incorporate and deposit carotenoids in the skin or hair, and mammals have therefore been assumed to rely entirely on other pigments such as melanins to color their integument. Here we use high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in combination with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HPLC-TOF/MS) to show that the frugivorous Honduran white bat Ectophylla alba colors its skin bright yellow with the deposition of the xanthophyll lutein. The Honduran white bat is thus a mammalian model that may help developing strategies to improve the assimilation of lutein in humans to avoid macular degeneration. This represents a change of paradigm in animal physiology showing that some mammals actually have the capacity to accumulate dietary carotenoids in the integument. In addition, we have also discovered that the majority of the lutein in the skin of Honduran white bats is present in esterified form with fatty acids, thereby permitting longer-lasting coloration and suggesting bright color traits may have an overlooked role in the visual communication of bats.
Descripción21 Páginas; 3 Figuras; 1 Tabla
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1609724113
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/158072
DOI10.1073/pnas.1609724113
ISSN0027-8424
E-ISSN1091-6490
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