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

Influence of ascorbic acid on the response to mitogens and interleukin production of porcine lymphocytes.

The influence of ascorbic acid (AA) on lymphocyte functions was examined in vitro and ex vivo in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of vitamin C-deficient pigs, which are unable to synthesise ascorbic acid. AA is accumulated to physiological levels in PBMC in vitro. The cell proliferation induced by T lymphocyte mitogens was unaltered at all AA concentrations tested (0-400 micrograms/ml, i.e., 0-2.3 mM). Conversely, the response to pokeweed mitogen (PWM) which activates T and B lymphocytes was significantly reduced with increasing intracellular and extracellular AA concentrations. The response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) showed a tendency to increase at low (9 microM) and was significantly reduced at high AA concentrations (> 36 microM). The IL2 production induced by PWM (but not by concanavalin A (Con A) or phytohemagglutinin (PHA)) decreased at high AA (> 142 microM). In contrast, IL6 production induced by mitogens was not dependent on AA concentrations. In concordance with these results, AA-depleted PBMC which were obtained from pigs that were fed an AA-free diet, displayed an increasing response to LPS and PWM. Collectively, the data indicate that ascorbic acid selectively influences the proliferation of B lymphocytes and negatively acts on IL2 production by T lymphocytes when a threshold of saturation is exceeded.[1]


  1. Influence of ascorbic acid on the response to mitogens and interleukin production of porcine lymphocytes. Schwager, J., Schulze, J. International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. Internationale Zeitschrift für Vitamin- und Ernährungsforschung. Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition. (1997) [Pubmed]
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