Tocotrienols-induced inhibition of platelet thrombus formation and platelet aggregation in stenosed canine coronary arteries

Qureshi AA, Karpen CW, Qureshi N, Papasian CJ, Morrison DC, Folts JD.

Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Apr 14;10:58.

Background: Dietary supplementation with tocotrienols has been shown to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. Tocotrienols are plant-derived forms of vitamin E, which have potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, hypocholesterolemic, and neuroprotective properties. Our objective in this study was to determine the extent to which tocotrienols inhibit platelet aggregation and reduce coronary thrombosis, a major risk factor for stroke in humans. The present study was carried out to determine the comparative effects of α-tocopherol, α-tocotrienol, or tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF; a mixture of α-+γ-+δ-tocotrienols) on in vivo platelet thrombosis and ex vivo platelet aggregation (PA) after intravenous injection in anesthetized dogs, by using a mechanically stenosed circumflex coronary artery model (Folts’ cyclic flow model).

Results: Collagen-induced platelet aggregation (PA) in platelet rich plasma (PRP) was decreased markedly after treatment with α-tocotrienol (59%; P<0.001) and TRF (92%; P<0.001). α-Tocopherol treatment was less effective, producing only a 22% (P<0.05) decrease in PA. Adenosine diphosphate-induced (ADP) PA was also decreased after treatment with α-tocotrienol (34%; P<0.05) and TRF (42%; P<0.025). These results also indicate that intravenously administered tocotrienols were significantly better than tocopherols in inhibiting cyclic flow reductions (CFRs), a measure of the acute platelet-mediated thrombus formation. Tocotrienols (TRF) given intravenously (10 mg/kg), abolished CFRs after a mean of 68 min (range 22 -130 min), and this abolition of CFRs was sustained throughout the monitoring period (50-160 min).Next, pharmacokinetic studies were carried out and tocol levels in canine plasma and platelets were measured. As expected, α-Tocopherol treatment increased levels of total tocopherols in post- vs pre-treatment specimens (57 vs 18 μg/mL in plasma, and 42 vs 10 μg/mL in platelets). However, treatment with α-tocopherol resulted in slightly decreased levels of tocotrienols in post- vs pre-treatment samples (1.4 vs 2.9 μg/mL in plasma and 2.3 vs 2.8 μg/mL in platelets). α-Tocotrienoltreatment increased levels of both tocopherols and tocotrienols in post- vs pre-treatment samples (tocopherols, 45 vs 10 μg/mL in plasma and 28 vs 5 μg/mL in platelets; tocotrienols, 2.8 vs 0.9 μg/mL in plasma and 1.28 vs 1.02 μg/mL in platelets). Treatment with tocotrienols (TRF) also increased levels of tocopherols and tocotrienols in post- vs pre-treatment samples (tocopherols, 68 vs 20 μg/mL in plasma and 31.4 vs 7.9 μg/mL in platelets;tocotrienols, 8.6 vs 1.7 μg/mL in plasma and 3.8 vs 3.9 μg/mL in platelets).

Conclusions: The present results indicate that intravenously administered tocotrienols inhibited acute platelet-mediated thrombus formation, and collagen and ADP-induced platelet aggregation. α-Tocotrienols treatment induced increases in α-tocopherol levels of 4-fold and 6-fold in plasma and platelets, respectively. Interestingly, tocotrienols (TRF) treatment induced a less pronounced increase in the levels of tocotrienols in plasma and platelets, suggesting that intravenously administered tocotrienols may be converted to tocopherols. Tocotrienols, given intravenously, could potentially prevent pathological platelet thrombus formation and thus provide a therapeutic benefit in conditions such as stroke and myocardial infarction.

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We previously found that 2,7,8-trimethyl-2(2′-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman (γCEHC), a metabolite of the vitamin E isoforms γ-tocopherol or γ-tocotrienol, accumulated in the rat small intestine. The aim of this study was to evaluate tissue distribution of vitamin E metabolites. A single dose of α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol or a tocotrienol mixture containing α- and γ-tocotrienol was orally administered to rats. Total amounts of conjugated and unconjugated metabolites in the tissues were measured by HPLC with an electrochemical detector, and 6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic acid (trolox) was used as an internal standard. Twenty-four hours later, the vitamin E isoforms were detected in most tissues and in the serum. However, 2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2(2′-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman (αCEHC), a metabolite of α-tocopherol or α-tocotrienol, and γCEHC accumulated in the serum and in some tissues including the liver, small intestine and kidney. Administration of α-tocopherol increased the γCEHC concentration in the small intestine, suggesting that α-tocopherol enhances γ-tocopherol catabolism. In contrast, ketoconazole, an inhibitor of cytochrome P450 (CYP)-dependent vitamin E catabolism, markedly decreased the γCEHC concentration. These data indicate that vitamin E metabolite accumulates not only in the liver but also in the small intestine and kidney. We conclude that some dietary vitamin E is catabolized to carboxyethyl-hydroxychroman in the small intestine and is secreted into the circulatory system.

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Gamma tocotrienols protects against radiation exposure

Lisa Hutson

Lisa Hutson

A form of Vitamin E may help protect against high levels of radiation exposure. Studies show that a potent form of Vitamin E called gamma tocotrienols may counteract the harmful effects of radiation. “It is something we have been working on for about five years now,” says Dr. Martin Hauer-Jensen, director of radiation health at UAMS.

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