Effect of vitamin E on stroke-associated pneumonia

Hongwei Shen, Bingyan Zhan

J Int Med Res . 2020 Sep;48(9):300060520949657. doi: 10.1177/0300060520949657.


Objective: To study the role of vitamin E in stroke-associated pneumonia.

Methods: We selected 183 patients with stroke-related pneumonia who were divided into different nutrition groups according to the Mini Nutritional Assessment score. Patients were then administered different doses of vitamin E.

Results: CD55 and CD47 levels in patients taking vitamin E across different nutrition score groups were better than those in patients who did not use vitamin E. The levels of CD55 and CD47 and the duration of hospitalization were better in the high-dose vitamin E group than in the low-dose vitamin E group.

Conclusion: Vitamin E may have an auxiliary therapeutic effect in patients with stroke-associated pneumonia.

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Vitamin E is necessary for zebrafish nervous system development

Brian Head, Jane La Du, Robyn L Tanguay, Chrissa Kioussi, Maret G Traber

Sci Rep . 2020 Sep 21;10(1):15028. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-71760-x.


Vitamin E (VitE) deficiency results in embryonic lethality. Knockdown of the gene ttpa encoding for the VitE regulatory protein [α-tocopherol transfer protein (α-TTP)] in zebrafish embryos causes death within 24 h post-fertilization (hpf). To test the hypothesis that VitE, not just α-TTP, is necessary for nervous system development, adult 5D strain zebrafish, fed either VitE sufficient (E+) or deficient (E-) diets, were spawned to obtain E+ and E- embryos, which were subjected to RNA in situ hybridization and RT-qPCR. Ttpa was expressed ubiquitously in embryos up to 12 hpf. Early gastrulation (6 hpf) assessed by goosecoid expression was unaffected by VitE status. By 24 hpf, embryos expressed ttpa in brain ventricle borders, which showed abnormal closure in E- embryos. They also displayed disrupted patterns of paired box 2a (pax2a) and SRY-box transcription factor 10 (sox10) expression in the midbrain-hindbrain boundary, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia. In E- embryos, the collagen sheath notochord markers (col2a1a and col9a2) appeared bent. Severe developmental errors in E- embryos were characterized by improper nervous system patterning of the usually carefully programmed transcriptional signals. Histological analysis also showed developmental defects in the formation of the fore-, mid- and hindbrain and somites of E- embryos at 24 hpf. Ttpa expression profile was not altered by the VitE status demonstrating that VitE itself, and not ttpa, is required for development of the brain and peripheral nervous system in this vertebrate embryo model.

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Brain α-Tocopherol Concentration and Stereoisomer Profile Alter Hippocampal Gene Expression in Weanling Mice

Justin S Rhodes, Catarina Rendeiro, Jonathan G Mun, Kristy Du, Pragya Thaman, Amanda Snyder, Heinrich Pinardo, Jenny Drnevich, Sriram Chandrasekaran, Chron-Si Lai, Karen J Schimpf, Matthew J Kuchan

J Nutr . 2020 Sep 16;nxaa249. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxaa249. Online ahead of print.


Background: Alpha-tocopherol (αT), the bioactive constituent of vitamin E, is essential for fertility and neurological development. Synthetic αT (8 stereoisomers; all rac-αT) is added to infant formula at higher concentrations than natural αT (RRR-αT only) to adjust for bio-potency differences, but its effects on brain development are poorly understood.

Objectives: The objective was to determine the impact of bio-potency-adjusted dietary all rac-αT versus RRR-αT, fed to dams, on the hippocampal gene expression in weanling mice.

Methods: Male/female pairs of C57BL/6J mice were fed AIN 93-G containing RRR-αT (NAT) or all rac-αT (SYN) at 37.5 or 75 IU/kg (n = 10/group) throughout gestation and lactation. Male pups were euthanized at 21 days. Half the brain was evaluated for the αT concentration and stereoisomer distribution. The hippocampus was dissected from the other half, and RNA was extracted and sequenced. Milk αT was analyzed in separate dams.

Results: A total of 797 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in the hippocampi across the 4 dietary groups, at a false discovery rate of 10%. Comparing the NAT-37.5 group to the NAT-75 group or the SYN-37.5 group to the SYN-75 group, small differences in brain αT concentrations (10%; P < 0.05) led to subtle changes (<10%) in gene expression of 600 (NAT) or 487 genes (SYN), which were statistically significant. Marked differences in brain αT stereoisomer profiles (P < 0.0001) had a small effect on fewer genes (NAT-37.5 vs. SYN-37.5, 179; NAT-75 vs. SYN-75, 182). Most of the DEGs were involved in transcription regulation and synapse formation. A network analysis constructed around known vitamin E interacting proteins (VIPs) revealed a group of 32 DEGs between NAT-37.5 vs. SYN-37.5, explained by expression of the gene for the VIP, protein kinase C zeta (Pkcz).

Conclusions: In weanling mouse hippocampi, a network of genes involved in transcription regulation and synapse formation was differentially affected by dam diet αT concentration and source: all rac-αT or RRR-αT.

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Vitamin E reduces radiation injury of hippocampal neurons in mice by inhibiting ferroptosis

Chen Ren, Xuanzi Li, Shasha Du

Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao . 2020 Aug 30;40(8):1097-1102. doi: 10.12122/j.issn.1673-4254.2020.08.05.


Objective: To explore the protective effect of vitamin E (VE) against radiation injury of hippocampal neurons in mice and explore the possible mechanism.

Methods: Cultured HT-22 and U251 cells with or without exposure to 8 Gy irradiation were treated with VE (200 μmol/L for 24 h), ferroptosis inhibitor (ferrostatin-1, 5 μmol/L for 24 h), apoptosis inhibitor (ZVAD-FMK, 2 μmol/L), or necroptosis inhibitor (100 μmol/L). MTT assay was used to evaluate the cell viability after the treatments, and reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), lipid reactive oxygen species (lipid ROS), and intracellular iron ion levels were detected for assessment of ferroptosis. The mice exposed to 16 Gy irradiation with or without vitamin E (500 U/kg) treatment for 6 weeks were assessed for behavioral changes and cognitive functions using Morris water maze test.

Results: Treatment with VE significantly promoted the cell survival following irradiation in HT-22 cells (P &lt; 0.05) but not in U251 cells (P &gt; 0.05). Ferrostatin-1, but not ZVAD or the necroptosis inhibitor, promoted the survival of HT-22 cells following the irradiation. Exposure to irradiation significantly increased ferroptosis-related oxidative stress level in HT-22 cells, manifested by decreased GSH level and increased MDA, lipid ROS and intracellular iron ion levels (P &lt; 0.05); treatment with VE and ferrostatin-1 both obviously reversed radiation-induced ferroptosis-related oxidative stress in the cells (P &lt; 0.05). In Morris water maze test, the mice with radiation exposure showed obviously increased exploration time and distance (P &lt; 0.05), which were significantly decreased after treatment with VE (P &lt; 0.05).

Conclusions: Vitamin E reduces radiation injury by inhibiting ferroptosis in the hippocampal neurons in mice.

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Brain tocopherol levels are associated with lower activated microglia density in elderly human cortex

Francisca A de Leeuw, Julie A Schneider, Sonal Agrawal, Sue E Leurgans, Martha Clare Morris

Alzheimers Dement (N Y) . 2020 Aug 24;6(1):e12021. doi: 10.1002/trc2.12021. eCollection 2020.


Introduction: Higher brain tocopherol levels have been associated with lower levels of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) neuropathology; however, the underlying mechanisms are unclear.

Methods: We studied the relations of α- and γ-tocopherol brain levels to microglia density in 113 deceased participants from the Memory and Aging Project. We used linear regression analyses to examine associations between tocopherol levels and microglia densities in a basic model adjusted for age, sex, education, apolipoprotein E (APOE)ε4 genotype (any ε4 allele vs. none) , and post-mortem time interval, and a second model additionally adjusted for total amyloid load and neurofibrillary tangle severity.

Results: Higher α- and γ-tocopherol levels were associated with lower total and activated microglia density in cortical but not in subcortical brain regions. The association between cortical α-tocopherol and total microglia density remained statistically significant after adjusting for AD neuropathology.

Discussion: These results suggest that the relation between tocopherols and AD might be partly explained by the alleviating effects of tocopherols on microglia activation.

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The wonders of palm oil

Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)’s research and collaborations with local and overseas institutions have scientifically proven that palm-derived Vitamin E tocotrienols are important for human health as they can prevent many non-communicable diseases. Through the continuous and dedicated research conducted by MPOB, the health benefits of palm oil and its phyto-nutrients are being explored extensively.

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Garcinoic acid prevents β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition in the mouse brain

Rita Marinelli, Pierangelo Torquato, Desirée Bartolini, Cristina Mas-Bargues, Guido Bellezza, Antimo Gioiello, Consuelo Borras, Antonella De Luca, Francesca Fallarino, Bartolomeo Sebastiani, Sridhar Mani, Angelo Sidoni, Jose Viña, Manuela Leri, Monica Bucciantini, Pamela Nardiello, Fiorella Casamenti, Francesco Galli

J Biol Chem . 2020 Aug 14;295(33):11866-11876. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA120.013303. Epub 2020 Jul 2.


Garcinoic acid (GA or δ-T3-13’COOH), is a natural vitamin E metabolite that has preliminarily been identified as a modulator of nuclear receptors involved in β-amyloid (Aβ) metabolism and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this study, we investigated GA’s effects on Aβ oligomer formation and deposition. Specifically, we compared them with those of other vitamin E analogs and the soy isoflavone genistein, a natural agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) that has therapeutic potential for managing AD. GA significantly reduced Aβ aggregation and accumulation in mouse cortical astrocytes. Similarly to genistein, GA up-regulated PPARγ expression and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) efflux in these cells with an efficacy that was comparable with that of its metabolic precursor δ-tocotrienol and higher than those of α-tocopherol metabolites. Unlike for genistein and the other vitamin E compounds, the GA-induced restoration of ApoE efflux was not affected by pharmacological inhibition of PPARγ activity, and specific activation of pregnane X receptor (PXR) was observed together with ApoE and multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) membrane transporter up-regulation in both the mouse astrocytes and brain tissue. These effects of GA were associated with reduced Aβ deposition in the brain of TgCRND8 mice, a transgenic AD model. In conclusion, GA holds potential for preventing Aβ oligomerization and deposition in the brain. The mechanistic aspects of GA’s properties appear to be distinct from those of other vitamin E metabolites and of genistein.

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A review on vitamin E natural analogues and on the design of synthetic vitamin E derivatives as cytoprotective agents

Panagiotis Theodosis-Nobelos, Georgios Papagiouvannis, Eleni A Rekka

Mini Rev Med Chem . 2020 Aug 7. doi: 10.2174/1389557520666200807132617. Online ahead of print.


Vitamin E, essential for human health, is widely used worldwide for therapeutic or dietary reasons. The differences in the metabolism and excretion of the multiple vitamin E forms are presented in this review. The important steps that influence the kinetics of each form and the distribution and processing of vitamin E forms by the liver are considered. The antioxidant as well as non-antioxidant properties of vitamin E forms are discussed. Finally, synthetic tocopherol and trolox derivatives, based on the design of multitarget directed compounds, are reviewed. It is demonstrated that selected derivatization of vitamin E or trolox structures can produce improved antioxidants, agents against cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders.

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Brain γ-Tocopherol Levels Are Associated with Presynaptic Protein Levels in Elderly Human Midfrontal Cortex

Francisca A de Leeuw, William G Honer, Julie A Schneider, Martha Clare Morris

J Alzheimers Dis . 2020 Jul 25. doi: 10.3233/JAD-200166. Online ahead of print.


Background: Higher vitamin E intake has been widely related to lower risks of cognitive decline and dementia. Animal models suggest that this relationship might be (partially) explained by the protection of vitamin E against presynaptic protein oxidation.

Objective: In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to examine the associations between brain tocopherols and presynaptic protein levels in elderly humans.

Methods: We examined associations of α- and γ-tocopherol brain levels with presynaptic protein levels in 113 deceased participants (age 88.5±6.0 years, 45 (40%) female) from the prospective Memory and Aging project. Three distinct presynaptic proteins, a SNARE protein composite, a synaptotagmin synaptophysin composite and the protein-protein interaction between synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25), and syntaxin were measured in two cortical brain regions. Linear regression models assessed associations of brain tocopherols with presynaptic protein levels.

Results: Higher brain γ-tocopherol levels were associated with higher levels of the SNARE protein composite, complexin-I, complexin-II, the synaptotagmin synaptophysin composite, and septin-5 in the midfrontal cortex (B(SE) = 0.272 to 0.412 (0.084 to 0.091), p < 0.001 to 0.003). When additionally adjusted for global Alzheimer’s disease pathology, cerebral infarcts, and Lewy body disease pathology, these associations remained largely similar. No associations were found between α-tocopherol and presynaptic protein levels.

Conclusion: In this cross-sectional study, we found higher brain γ-tocopherol levels were associated with presynaptic protein levels in the midfrontal cortex. These results are consistent with a proposed role of vitamin E to maintain presynaptic protein levels.

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Influence of specific management practices on blood selenium, vitamin E, and beta-carotene concentrations in horses and risk of nutritional deficiency

Mariya O Pitel, Erica C McKenzie, Jennifer L Johns, Robert L Stuart

J Vet Intern Med . 2020 Jul 20. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15862. Online ahead of print.


Background: Selenium or alpha-tocopherol deficiency can cause neuromuscular disease. Beta-carotene has limited documentation in horses.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of owner practices on plasma beta-carotene concentration and risk of selenium and alpha-tocopherol deficiencies.

Animals: Three-hundred and forty-nine adult (≥1 year), university and privately owned horses and mules.

Methods: Cross-sectional study. Whole blood selenium, plasma alpha-tocopherol, and plasma beta-carotene concentrations were measured once. Estimates of daily selenium and vitamin E intake, pasture access, and exercise load were determined by owner questionnaire. Data were analyzed using t tests, Mann-Whitney tests, parametric or nonparametric analysis of variance (ANOVA), Kruskal-Wallis test, Spearman’s correlation and contingency tables (P < .05).

Results: Nearly 88% of the horses received supplemental selenium; 71.3% received ≥1 mg/d. Low blood selenium concentration (<80 ng/mL) was identified in 3.3% of horses, and 13.6% had marginal concentrations (80-159 ng/mL). Non-supplemented horses were much more likely to have low blood selenium (odds ratio [OR], 20.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 9.26-42.7; P < .001). Supplemental vitamin E was provided to 87.3% of horses; 57.7% received ≥500 IU/d. Deficient (<1.5 μg/mL) and marginal (1.5-2.0 μg/mL) plasma (alpha-tocopherol) occurred in 15.4% and 19.9% of horses, respectively. Pasture access (>6 h/d) and daily provision of ≥500 IU of vitamin E was associated (P < .001) with higher plasma alpha-tocopherol concentrations. Plasma beta-carotene concentration was higher in horses with pasture access (0.26 ± 0.43 versus 0.12 ± 0.13 μg/mL, P = .003).

Conclusions and clinical importance: Suboptimal blood selenium and plasma alpha-tocopherol concentrations occurred in 16.7% and 35.5% of horses, respectively, despite most owners providing supplementation. Inadequate pasture access was associated with alpha-tocopherol deficiency, and reliance on selenium-containing salt blocks was associated with selenium deficiency.

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