Study Title:

Vitamin E and mast cells

Study Abstract

Mast cells play an important role in the immune system by interacting with B and T cells and by releasing several mediators involved in activating other cells. Hyperreactivity of mast cells and their uncontrolled accumulation in tissues lead to increased release of inflammatory mediators contributing to the pathogenesis of several diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and allergic disorders such as asthma and allergic rhinitis. Interference with mast cell proliferation, survival, degranulation, and migration by synthetic or natural compounds may represent a preventive strategy for the management of these diseases. Natural vitamin E covers a group of eight analogues-the alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherols and the alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienols, but only alpha-tocopherol is efficiently retained by the liver and distributed to peripheral tissues. Mast cells preferentially locate in the proximity of tissues that interface with the external environment (the epithelial surface of the skin, the gastrointestinal mucosa, and the respiratory system), what may render them accessible to treatments with inefficiently retained natural vitamin E analogues and synthetic derivatives. In addition to scavenging free radicals, the natural vitamin E analogues differently modulate signal transduction and gene expression in several cell lines; in mast cells, protein kinase C, protein phosphatase 2A, and protein kinase B are affected by vitamin E, leading to the modulation of proliferation, apoptosis, secretion, and migration. In this chapter, the possibility that vitamin E can prevent diseases with mast cells involvement by modulating signal transduction and gene expression is evaluated.

Study Information

Vitamin E and mast cells
Vitam Horm.
2007 January

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