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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Reduced bactericidal activity in neutrophils from scorbutic animals and the effect of ascorbic acid on these target bacteria in vivo and in vitro.

Actinomycetes, involved in oral and periodontal diseases, cause serious infections in immunocompromised hosts. Severely scorbutic guinea pig leukocytes killed only 12% of phagocytosed actinomycetes, had distorted nuclear morphology, had 16 times less ascorbate, and had no chemotactic responses in vitro. Ascorbate reversed these indices and also prevented nitrosamine formation by oral organisms. Degranulating leukocytes release lactoferrin and ascorbate that chelate iron, essential for microorganisms. Ascorbic acid, 2,2'-bipyridine and 1,10-phenanthroline were bactericidal to several bacterial pathogens at millimolar concentrations. Iron alone reversed this effect. In in vivo experiments an Actinomyces viscosus monoflora was implanted in rhesus monkeys. Plaque and serum samples showed decreased (by six orders of magnitude) bacterial counts and decreased actinomycete antibody titers in animals given 1 g ascorbate/d. Removing ascorbate returned counts and titers to preascorbate concentrations. Fifteen marmosets, receiving twice daily topical applications of ascorbate or water, had comparatively lower gingival, calculus, and plaque indices and only slightly lowered actinomycete counts.[1]


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