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T cells call for vitamin E

Vitamin E inhibits CD95 ligand expression, protects T cells from activation-induced cell death.

Tudor Toma (news@biomedcentral.com)

Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) is a natural free radical scavenger that can prevent toxicant- and carcinogen-induced oxidative damage but its role in other mechanisms, such as T cell apoptosis, is not clear. In September 1 Journal of Clinical Investigation Min Li-Weber and colleagues from the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany, show that vitamin E inhibits CD95 ligand expression and protects T cells from activation-induced cell death (AICD).

Li-Weber et al. used primary human T lymphocytes and observed that vitamin E suppresses the activity of the transcription factors NF-κB and AP-1, blocks the expression of CD95 ligand and thus prevent T cell AICD. In addition, their analysis of the influence of vitamin E on apoptosis of peripheral T cells from HIV-positive individuals showed a potent effect of vitamin E on protection of T cells from AICD.

"Our study may encourage further clinical investigation to address whether vitamin E supplementation could have...

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