, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 89–97 | Cite as

Comparison of tetrahydrofuran, fetal calf serum, and Tween 40 for the delivery of astaxanthin and canthaxanthin to HepG2 cells

  • Christine Boesch-Saadatmandi
  • Gerald Rimbach
  • Alexander Jungblut
  • Jan FrankEmail author
Technical Note


The present investigation aimed to compare fetal calf serum (FCS) and Tween 40 with the commonly employed tetrahydrofuran (THF) with respect to cytotoxicity, stability of the solubilized carotenoids, and uptake and accumulation of the xanthophylls astaxanthin (AX) and canthaxanthin (CX) in cultured human liver cells (HepG2). Incubation of HepG2 cells for 24 h with THF (≥1.25%) or FCS (≥11.25%) with or without AX (≥25 μmol/L) or CX (≥25 μmol/L) did not affect cell viability. Tween 40 (0.25–1.25% in medium) reduced cell viability by 75–99%. The stabilities of AX and CX in cell-free RPMI 1640 medium for ≤24 h were higher when delivered with THF instead of FCS. The dose- and time-dependent accumulations of AX and CX (1–10 μmol/L) in HepG2 cells were higher when carotenoids were delivered with FCS compared to THF. In conclusion, FCS and THF, but not Tween 40, were suitable solvent systems for the delivery of AX and CX to HepG2 cells. In our experiments FCS was superior with regard to the uptake and accumulation of both carotenoids.


Carotenoids Astaxanthin Canthaxanthin Delivery vehicle HepG2 cell culture Fetal calf serum Tween 40 Tetrahydrofuran 

Supplementary material

10616_2010_9324_MOESM1_ESM.doc (63 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 82 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Boesch-Saadatmandi
    • 1
  • Gerald Rimbach
    • 1
  • Alexander Jungblut
    • 1
  • Jan Frank
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Human Nutrition and Food ScienceChristian-Albrechts-University KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition (140f)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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