Vitamin E Helps Age-Related Immune Function

Byron's Comments:

Vitamin E is required for healthy immune function in the elderly.

Study Title:

Vitamin E Reverses Impaired Linker for Activation of T Cells Activation in T Cells from Aged C57BL/6 Mice.

Study Abstract:

Supplemental vitamin E alleviates age-related defects in interleukin (IL)-2 production, T cell proliferation, and immune synapse formation. Here, we evaluated the effect of in vitro supplementation with 46 µmol/L of vitamin E on T cell receptor-proximal signaling events of CD4+ T cells from young (4–6 mo) and old (22–26 mo) C57BL mice. Aged murine CD4+ T cells stimulated via CD3 and CD28, tyrosine 191 of the adaptor protein Linker for Activation of T cells (LAT), was hypo-phosphorylated. Supplementation with vitamin E eliminated this difference in the tyrosine phosphorylation of LAT. By using a flow cytometric assay, the age-related differences in the activation-induced phosphorylation of LAT were observed in both naïve and memory T cell subsets. In addition, supplementation with vitamin E eliminates the age-related differences in LAT phosphorylation in both T cell subsets. Neither age nor vitamin E supplementation altered the fraction of LAT entering the membrane compartment. Furthermore, neither age nor vitamin E influenced the phosphorylation of Lck and Zap70, indicating that associated changes in LAT phosphorylation were not caused by alterations in activation states of the upstream kinases Lck and Zap70.

Study Information:

Melissa G. Marko, Hoan-Jen E. Pang, Zhihong Ren, Angelo Azzi, Brigitte T. Huber, Stephen C. Bunnell and Simin Nikbin Meydani. Vitamin E Reverses Impaired Linker for Activation of T Cells Activation in T Cells from Aged C57BL/6 Mice. Journal of Nutrition  2009 June  Vol. 139, No. 6, 1192-1197.
Nutritional Immunology Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111.






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