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Communications to the Editor |

Vitamin E as a Regulator of Host Defense Against Infection FREE TO VIEW

Ken-ichiro Inoue, MD; Hirohisa Takano, MD, PhD; Kazuhiko Uchiyama, MD; Rie Yanagisawa, PhD; Toshikazu Yoshikawa, MD, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan,  Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan

Correspondence to: Ken-ichiro Inoue, MD, Inhalation Toxicology Research Team and Pathophysiology Research Team, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16–2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, 305-8506 Japan; e-mail: inoue.kenichirou@nies.go.jp



Chest. 2004;126(4):1390. doi:10.1378/chest.126.4.1390
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To the Editor:

We read with great interest the case series by Hemila and colleagues (February 2004),1 who examined the effects of vitamin E and beta-carotene on the risk of pneumonia. However, they found no overall effect of supplementation with vitamin E on the incidence of hospital-treated pneumonia.1 In the introduction, Hemila and colleagues1described that the effects of vitamin E on the immune system in humans remain controversial. Vitamin E is the primary liposoluble antioxidant, which may have an important role in scavenging free oxygen radicals and in stabilizing the cell membranes, thus maintaining its permeability.23 Based on the specific anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin E, vitamin E and its derivative have been examined on various inflammatory diseases in which oxidants play a role in the pathogenesis. Several studies suggested that vitamin E protects against ischemia-reperfusion–induced gastric injury,4trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid-induced colitis,5and taurochenodeoxycholic acid-induced liver injury6in vivo. As for lung disease, vitamin E reportedly protected against bleomycin-induced lung injury7and carrageenan-induced pleurisy8 in rats.

We examined the effects of water-soluble vitamin E derivative, 2-(α-D-glucopyranosyl) methyl-2, 5, 7, 8-tetramethylchroman-6-ol (TMG), on two different animal models of acute lung injury.910 TMG ameliorated lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung inflammation in both rats and mice. Furthermore, TMG suppressed the local expression of proinflammatory cytokine such as tumor necrosis factor-α in rats,9and chemokines such as keratinocyte chemoattractant, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, and macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 in mice.10 However, we also demonstrated that the concentrations that showed obvious anti-inflammatory effect on the models were 40 mg/kg in rats and 10 mg/kg in mice, respectively, higher concentrations than that examined in the trials of Hemila and coworkers.1 Therefore, further studies about vitamin E may be conducted for clinical use as a therapeutic option in inflammatory diseases, considering the dosage of vitamin E, the delivery route of vitamin E, and the selection of the inflammatory diseases.

Hemila, H, Virtamo, J, Albanes, D, et al (2004) Vitamin E and beta-carotene supplementation and hospital-treated pneumonia incidence in male smokers.Chest125,557-565. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Navarro, F, Arroyo, A, Martin, SF, et al Protective role of ubiquinone in vitamin E and selenium-deficient plasma membranes.Biofactors1999;9,163-170. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Bjorneboe, A, Bjorneboe, GE, Drevon, CA Absorption, transport and distribution of vitamin E.J Nutr1990;120,233-242. [PubMed]
 
Ichikawa, H, Yoshida, N, Takano, H, et al A novel vitamin E derivative (TMG) protects against gastric mucosal damage induced by ischemia and reperfusion in rats.Dig Dis Sci2003;48,54-58. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Gonzalez, R, Sanchez de Medina, F, Galvez, J, et al Dietary vitamin E supplementation protects the rat large intestine from experimental inflammation.Int J Vitam Nutr Res2001;71,243-250. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Sokol, RJ, McKim, JM, Jr, Goff, MC, et al Vitamin E reduces oxidant injury to mitochondria and the hepatotoxicity of taurochenodeoxycholic acid in the rat.Gastroenterology1998;114,164-174. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Suntres, ZE, Shek, PN Protective effect of liposomal α-tocopherol against bleomycin-induced lung injury.Biomed Environ Sci1997;10,47-59. [PubMed]
 
Cuzzocrea, S, Costantino, G, Mazzon, E, et al Beneficial effects of raxofelast (IRFI 016), a new hydrophilic vitamin E-like antioxidant, in carrageenan-induced pleurisy.Br J Pharmacol1999;126,407-414. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Ochiai, J, Takano, H, Ichikawa, H, et al A novel water-soluble vitamin E derivative, 2-(alpha-D-glucopyranosyl)methyl-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-6-ol, protects against acute lung injury and mortality in endotoxemic rats.Shock2002;18,580-584. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Uchiyama, K, Takano, H, Yanagisawa, R, et al A novel water-soluble vitamin E derivative prevents acute lung injury by bacterial endotoxin.Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol2004;31,226-230. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 

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References

Hemila, H, Virtamo, J, Albanes, D, et al (2004) Vitamin E and beta-carotene supplementation and hospital-treated pneumonia incidence in male smokers.Chest125,557-565. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Navarro, F, Arroyo, A, Martin, SF, et al Protective role of ubiquinone in vitamin E and selenium-deficient plasma membranes.Biofactors1999;9,163-170. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Bjorneboe, A, Bjorneboe, GE, Drevon, CA Absorption, transport and distribution of vitamin E.J Nutr1990;120,233-242. [PubMed]
 
Ichikawa, H, Yoshida, N, Takano, H, et al A novel vitamin E derivative (TMG) protects against gastric mucosal damage induced by ischemia and reperfusion in rats.Dig Dis Sci2003;48,54-58. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Gonzalez, R, Sanchez de Medina, F, Galvez, J, et al Dietary vitamin E supplementation protects the rat large intestine from experimental inflammation.Int J Vitam Nutr Res2001;71,243-250. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Sokol, RJ, McKim, JM, Jr, Goff, MC, et al Vitamin E reduces oxidant injury to mitochondria and the hepatotoxicity of taurochenodeoxycholic acid in the rat.Gastroenterology1998;114,164-174. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Suntres, ZE, Shek, PN Protective effect of liposomal α-tocopherol against bleomycin-induced lung injury.Biomed Environ Sci1997;10,47-59. [PubMed]
 
Cuzzocrea, S, Costantino, G, Mazzon, E, et al Beneficial effects of raxofelast (IRFI 016), a new hydrophilic vitamin E-like antioxidant, in carrageenan-induced pleurisy.Br J Pharmacol1999;126,407-414. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Ochiai, J, Takano, H, Ichikawa, H, et al A novel water-soluble vitamin E derivative, 2-(alpha-D-glucopyranosyl)methyl-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-6-ol, protects against acute lung injury and mortality in endotoxemic rats.Shock2002;18,580-584. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Uchiyama, K, Takano, H, Yanagisawa, R, et al A novel water-soluble vitamin E derivative prevents acute lung injury by bacterial endotoxin.Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol2004;31,226-230. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
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