Vascular monocyte retention in the subintima is pivotal to the development of cardiovascular disease and is facilitated by up-regulation of adhesion molecules on monocytes/endothelial cells during oxidative stress. Epidemiological studies have shown that cardiovascular disease risk is inversely proportional to plasma levels of the dietary micronutrients, vitamin C and vitamin E (α-tocopherol). We have tested the hypothesis that α-tocopherol supplementation may alter endothelial/monocyte function and interaction in subjects with normal ascorbate levels (> 50 μM), as ascorbate has been shown to regenerate tocopherol from its oxidised tocopheroxyl radical form in vitro. Healthy male subjects received α-tocopherol supplements (400 IU RRR-α-tocopherol /day for 6 weeks) in a placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention study. There were no significant differences in monocyte CD11b expression, monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells, plasma C-reactive protein or sICAM- 1 concentrations post-supplementation. There was no evidence for nuclear translocation of NF-κB in isolated resting monocytes, nor any effect of α-tocopherol supplementation. However, post-supplementation, sVCAM-1 levels were decreased in all subjects and sE-selectin levels were increased in the vitamin C-replete group only; a weak positive correlation was observed between sE-selectin and α-tocopherol concentration. In conclusion, α-tocopherol supplementation had little effect on cardiovascular disease risk factors in healthy subjects and the effects of tocopherol were not consistently affected by plasma vitamin C concentration. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd.
- vascular disease
- vitamin E