Haptoglobin 2 Allele is Associated With Histologic Response to Vitamin E in Subjects With Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

Banini BA, Cazanave SC1,, Yates KP, Asgharpour A, Vincent R, Mirshahi F, Le P, Contos MJ, Tonascia J, Chalasani NP, Kowdley KV, McCullough AJ, Behling CA, Schwimmer JB, Lavine JE1, Sanyal AJ

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2018 Dec 21. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001142. [Epub ahead of print]



Haptoglobin (Hp) genotype has been linked to oxidative stress and cardiovascular outcomes in response to vitamin E (VitE) among patients with diabetes mellitus. Its effect on histologic response to VitE in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is unknown.


Our objective was to determine if Hp genotype associates with response to VitE in patients with NASH.


A post hoc analysis of 228 patients receiving VitE or placebo in 2 clinical trials was performed. Regression analysis was used to assess the effect of VitE versus placebo, by Hp genotype (1-1, 2-1, or 2-2), on histologic features and laboratory markers of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, comparing baseline to end of treatment values. An interaction term was included in the regression models to assess differential treatment effect across Hp genotype.


Hp 2-2 patients treated with VitE versus placebo showed significant histologic improvement (51% vs. 20%; OR=4.2; P=0.006), resolution of steatohepatitis (44% vs. 12%; OR=6.2; P=0.009), decrease in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Activity Score (NAS) (-2.2 vs. -0.6; P=0.001), and decrease in liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase. Hp 2-1 patients on VitE versus placebo showed improved resolution of steatohepatitis, NAS and liver enzymes. Hp 1-1 patients showed no significant improvement in histology or liver enzymes. VitE had no effect on fibrosis stage in any group. Regression analysis showed incremental benefit of having Hp 2-2 or 2-1 versus 1-1 for all liver enzyme.


Hp 2 allele is associated with greater histologic and biological improvement in NASH with VitE treatment compared with the Hp 1 allele.

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Diminished circulating retinol and elevated α-TOH/retinol ratio predict an increased risk of cognitive decline in aging Chinese adults, especially in subjects with ApoE2 or ApoE4 genotype

Huang X, Zhang H, Zhen J, Dong S, Guo Y, Van Halm-Lutterodt N, Yuan L

Aging (Albany NY). 2018 Dec 20;10(12):4066-4083. doi: 10.18632/aging.101694.



The current study evaluated the relationship between circulating fat soluble vitamin status and cognition in aging Chinese population.


A cross-sectional study was carried out in 1754 community residents aged 55-80 years aiming to evaluate the relationship between circulating α-tocopherol and retinol status and cognition. The effect of ApoE genetic polymorphism on the relationship between vitamins and cognition was also explored.


Our results indicated that serum retinol status positively correlated with cognitive performance; while, serum α-tocopherol (α-TOH)/retinol ratio negatively correlated with cognitive performance. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subject demonstrated higher serum α-TOH status (P < 0.05), α-TOH/retinol ratio (P < 0.01) and lower retinol status (P < 0.01) than normal subjects. Subjects with ApoE4 genotype have lower serum retinol level (P < 0.05) and higher α-TOH/retinol ratio (P < 0.01) than subjects with ApoE3 genotype. MCI-ApoE4 carriers demonstrated the worst cognitive performance (P < 0.05) and exhibited higher serum TC, α-TOH and α-TOH/retinol ratio levels (P < 0.05), and lower LDL-C, retinol and lipid-adjusted retinol status (P < 0.05). MCI-ApoE2 subjects showed higher serum TC, HDL-C content and α-TOH/retinol ratio (P < 0.05); and lower serum retinol and lipid-adjusted retinol status (P < 0.05).


Lower circulating retinol and higher α-TOH/retinol ratio potentially predicts an increased risk for the development of cognitive decline in aging Chinese adults. ApoE2 or E4 carriers with higher circulating α-TOH/retinol ratio infer poor cognitive performance and an increased risk of developing MCI.

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γ-Tocotrienol-Inhibited Cell Proliferation of Human Gastric Cancer by Regulation of Nuclear Factor-κB Activity

Sun WG, Song RP, Wang Y, Ge S, Zhang YH, Wang HX, Liu J, Liu LX

J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Dec 18. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b05832. [Epub ahead of print]


γ-Tocotrienol (γ-T3) exhibits the activity of anti-cancer via regulating cell signaling pathways. Nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB), one of crucial pro-inflammatory factors, involved in the regulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and migration of tumor. In the present study, NF-kB activity inhibited by γ-T3 was investigated in gastric cancer cells. Cell proliferation, NF-kB activity, active protein phosphatase type 2A (PP2A), and ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein were explored using MTT, methylene blue, ELISA, malachite green, luciferase and Western blotting assays. The effects of γ-T3 on tumor growth, the expression of NF-kB and PP2A proteins were also further examined by implanting human gastric cancer cells in a BALB/c nude mouse model. The results showed that γ-T3 significantly inhibited the cell proliferation and attenuated the NF-kB activity in vitro and in vivo. γ-T3 dramatically increased PP2A activity and protein expression, which suppressed ATM phosphorylation and its translocation to the cytoplasm in gastric cancer cells. Thus, our findings may provide mechanistic insight into effects of γ-T3 on the regulation of NF-kB activity by a PP2A-dependent mechanism and suggest that PP2A may serve as a molecular target for a potential chemopreventive agent.

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The Effects of Magnesium and Vitamin E Co-Supplementation on Hormonal Status and Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Shokrpour M, Asemi Z

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2018 Dec 18. doi: 10.1007/s12011-018-1602-9. [Epub ahead of print]


Synergistic approach of magnesium and vitamin E may benefit clinical symptoms of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) through improving their metabolic profiles and reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. This study was designed to determine the effects of magnesium and vitamin E co-supplementation on hormonal status and biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in women with PCOS. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted among 60 women with PCOS, aged 18-40 years old. Participants were randomly divided into two groups to take 250 mg/day magnesium plus 400 mg/day vitamin E supplements or placebo (n = 30 each group) for 12 weeks. Fasting blood samples were taken at baseline and after the 12-week intervention to quantify related variables. Magnesium and vitamin E co-supplementation resulted in a significant reduction in hirsutism (β - 0.37; 95% CI, - 0.70, - 0.05; P = 0.02) and serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (β - 0.67 mg/L; 95% CI, - 1.20, - 0.14; P = 0.01), and a significant increase in plasma nitric oxide (NO) (β 3.40 μmol/L; 95% CI, 1.46, 5.35; P = 0.001) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) levels (β 66.32 mmol/L; 95% CI, 43.80, 88.84; P < 0.001). Overall, magnesium and vitamin E co-supplementation for 12 weeks may benefit women with PCOS on hirsutism, serum hs-CRP, plasma NO, and TAC levels.

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Vitamin E: Regulatory Role on Signal Transduction

Zingg JM

IUBMB Life. 2018 Dec 17. doi: 10.1002/iub.1986. [Epub ahead of print]


Vitamin E modulates signal transduction pathways by several molecular mechanisms. As a hydrophobic molecule located mainly in membranes it contributes together with other lipids to the physical and structural characteristics such as membrane stability, curvature, fluidity, and the organization into microdomains (lipid rafts). By acting as the main lipid-soluble antioxidant, it protects other lipids such as mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA, respectively) against chemical reactions with reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS, respectively) and prevents membrane destabilization and cellular dysfunction. In cells, vitamin E affects signaling in redox-dependent and redox-independent molecular mechanisms by influencing the activity of enzymes and receptors involved in modulating specific signal transduction and gene expression pathways. By protecting and preventing depletion of MUFA and PUFA it indirectly enables regulatory effects that are mediated by the numerous lipid mediators derived from these lipids. In recent years, some vitamin E metabolites have been observed to affect signal transduction and gene expression and their relevance for the regulatory function of vitamin E is beginning to be elucidated. In particular, the modulation of the CD36/FAT scavenger receptor/fatty acids transporter by vitamin E may influence many cellular signaling pathways relevant for lipid homeostasis, inflammation, survival/apoptosis, angiogenesis, tumorigenesis, neurodegeneration, and senescence. Thus, vitamin E has an important role in modulating signal transduction and gene expression pathways relevant for its uptake, distribution, metabolism, and molecular action that when impaired affect physiological and patho-physiological cellular functions relevant for the prevention of a number of diseases.

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Vitamin E: Mechanism of transport and regulation in the CNS

Lee P, Ulatowski LM

IUBMB Life. 2018 Dec 17. doi: 10.1002/iub.1993. [Epub ahead of print]


Although vitamin E has been recognized as a critical micronutrient to neuronal health for more than half a century, vitamin E transport and regulation in the brain remain a mystery. Currently, the majority of what is known about vitamin E transport has been delineated in the liver. However, clues from the pathogenesis of neurological-related vitamin E deficient diseases point to compromised neuronal integrity and function, underlining the critical need to understand vitamin E regulation in the CNS. Additionally, most of the same molecular players involved in vitamin E transport in the liver are also found in CNS, including sterol SRB1, TTP, and ABCA/ABCG, suggesting similar intracellular pathways between these organ systems. Finally, based on chemical similarities, intracellular CNS shuttling of vitamin E likely resembles cholesterol’s use of ApoE particles. Utilizing this information, this review will address what is currently known about trafficking vitamin E across the blood brain barrier in order to ensure an adequate supply of the essential nutrient to the brain. Although debatable, the health of the brain in relation to vitamin E levels has been demonstrated, most notably in oxidative stress-related conditions such as ataxias, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Future vitamin E research is vital in understanding how the regulation of the vitamin can aid in the prevention, treatment, and curing of neurological diseases.

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Vitamin E – The Next 100 Years

Khadangi F, Azzi A

IUBMB Life. 2018 Dec 14. doi: 10.1002/iub.1990. [Epub ahead of print]


α-Tocopherol is the only tocopherol that has been shown to prevent the human deficiency disease Ataxia with Isolated Vitamin E Deficiency (AVED), and thus it is the only one that, for humans, can be called vitamin EVitamin E in addition to preventing AVED has documented immune boosting properties and an activity against nonalcoholic hepatosteatosis and low-grade inflammation. Epidemiological studies indicating that vitamin E could prevent cardiovascular events, neurodegenerative disease, macular degeneration, and cancer were in general not confirmed by clinical intervention studies. Vitamin E and some of its metabolites modulate cell signaling and gene transcription. Future research is needed to achieve a better understanding of the molecular events leading to gene regulation by vitamin E, especially in its phosphorylated form. Isolation and characterization of the vitamin E kinase and vitamin E phosphate phosphatase will help in the understanding of cell regulation processes modulated by vitamin E. A clarification of the pathogenesis of AVED remains an important goal to be achieved.

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Vitamin E Increases Antimicrobial Sensitivity by Inhibiting Bacterial Lipocalin Antibiotic Binding

Naguib MM, Valvano MA

mSphere. 2018 Dec 12;3(6). pii: e00564-18. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00564-18.


Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic Gram-negative bacterium that causes serious respiratory infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. Recently, we discovered that B. cenocepacia produces the extracellular bacterial lipocalin protein BcnA upon exposure to sublethal concentrations of bactericidal antibiotics. BcnA captures a range of antibiotics outside bacterial cells, providing a global extracellular mechanism of antimicrobial resistance. In this study, we investigated water-soluble and liposoluble forms of vitamin E as inhibitors of antibiotic binding by BcnA. Our results demonstrate that in vitro, both vitamin E forms bind strongly to BcnA and contribute to reduce the MICs of norfloxacin (a fluoroquinolone) and ceftazidime (a β-lactam), both of them used as model molecules representing two different chemical classes of antibiotics. Expression of BcnA was required for the adjuvant effect of vitamin E. These results were replicated in vivousing the Galleria mellonella larva infection model whereby vitamin E treatment, in combination with norfloxacin, significantly increased larva survival upon infection in a BcnA-dependent manner. Together, our data suggest that vitamin E can be used to increase killing by bactericidal antibiotics through interference with lipocalin binding.

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Natural forms of vitamin E and metabolites-regulation of cancer cell death and underlying mechanisms

Jiang Q

IUBMB Life. 2018 Dec 11. doi: 10.1002/iub.1978. [Epub ahead of print]


The disappointing results from large clinical studies of α-tocopherol (αT), the major form of vitamin E in tissues, for prevention of chronic diseases including cancer have cast doubt on not only αT but also other forms of vitamin E regarding their role in preventing carcinogenesis. However, basic research has shown that specific forms of vitamin E such as γ-tocopherol (γT), δ-tocopherol (δT), γ-tocotrienol (γTE) and δ-tocotrienol (δTE) can inhibit the growth and induce death of many types of cancer cells, and are capable of suppressing cancer development in preclinical cancer models. For these activities, these vitamin E forms are much stronger than αT. Further, recent research revealed novel anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects of vitamin E metabolites including 13′-carboxychromanols. This review focuses on anti-proliferation and induction of death in cancer cells by vitamin E forms and metabolites, and discuss mechanisms underlying these anticancer activities. The existing in vitro and in vivo evidence indicates that γT, δT, tocotrienols and 13′-carboxychromanols have anti-cancer activities via modulating key signaling or mediators that regulate cell death and tumor progression, such as eicosanoids, NF-κB, STAT3, PI3K, and sphingolipid metabolism. These results provide useful scientific rationales and mechanistic understanding for further translation of basic discoveries to the clinic with respect to potential use of these vitamin E forms and metabolites for cancer prevention and therapy.

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Effects of α-tocopherol on bone marrow mesenchymal cells derived from type II diabetes mellitus rats

Noguchi M, Yamawaki I, Takahashi S, Taguchi Y, Umeda M

J Oral Sci. 2018;60(4):579-587. doi: 10.2334/josnusd.17-0422.


It is widely accepted that vitamin E (VE) acts as an antioxidant and is involved in various metabolic systems including the regulation of gene expression and inhibition of cell proliferation. The most predominant isoform of VE in the living body is α-tocopherol. However, the influence of α-tocopherol on bone marrow mesenchymal cells (BMMCs) in a background of type II diabetes mellitus (DM) has not been investigated. The focus of the present study was to clarify the effect of α-tocopherol on BMMCs derived from rats with type II DM and the underlying mechanisms involved. BMMCs were isolated from rats with type II DM. The BMMCs were either untreated or exposed to α-tocopherol at concentrations of 1.0, 10, and 100 μM, and the resulting effects of α-tocopherol on cell proliferation, H2O2 activity, and antioxidant and inflammatory cytokine production were examined. At 100 μM, α-tocopherol had no effect on cell proliferation, but H2O2 activity was significantly increased. At 10 μM, α-tocopherol increased the gene expression of IL-1β, and markedly promoted that of TNF-α. Expression of catalase in the presence of 100 μM α-tocopherol was lower than for the other concentrations. At a low concentration, α-tocopherol exerted good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on BMMCs. The study suggests that maintaining α-tocopherol at a low concentration might promote the recovery of BMMCs from oxidative stress.

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