Molecular mechanisms triggered by high dietary beta-carotene (BC) intake in lung are largely unknown. We performed microarray gene expression analysis on lung tissue of BC supplemented beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase 1 knockout (Bcmo1 (-/-)) mice, which are-like humans-able to accumulate BC. Our main observation was that the genes were regulated in an opposite direction in male and female Bcmo1 (-/-) mice by BC. The steroid biosynthetic pathway was overrepresented in BC-supplemented male Bcmo1 (-/-) mice. Testosterone levels were higher after BC supplementation only in Bcmo1 (-/-) mice, which had, unlike wild-type (Bcmo1 (+/+)) mice, large variations. We hypothesize that BC possibly affects hormone synthesis or metabolism. Since sex hormones influence lung cancer risk, these data might contribute to an explanation for the previously found increased lung cancer risk after BC supplementation (ATBC and CARET studies). Moreover, effects of BC may depend on the presence of frequent human BCMO1 polymorphisms, since these effects were not found in wild-type mice.