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Anat Cell Biol. 2010 Dec;43(4):294-302. doi: 10.5115/acb.2010.43.4.294. Epub 2010 Dec 31.

Mega-dose vitamin C attenuated lung inflammation in mouse asthma model.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Tumor Immunity Medical Research Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Asthma is a Th2-dependent disease mediated by IgE and Th2 cytokines, and asthmatic patients suffer from oxidative stresses from abnormal airway inflammation. Vitamin C is a micro-nutrient functioning as an antioxidant. When administered at a mega-dose, vitamin C has been reported to shift immune responses toward Th1. Thus, we tried to determine whether vitamin C exerted beneficial effects in asthma animal model. Asthma was induced in mice by sensitizing and challenging with ovalbumin. At the time of challenge, 3~5 mg of vitamin C was administered and the effects were evaluated. Vitamin C did not modulate Th1/Th2 balance in asthma model. However, it decreased airway hyperreactivity to methacholine, decreased inflammatory cell numbers in brochoalveolar lavage fluid, and moderate reduction of perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammatory cell infiltration. These results suggest that vitamin C administered at the time of antigen challenge exerted anti-inflammatory effects. Further studies based on chronic asthma model are needed to evaluate a long-term effect of vitamin C in asthma. In conclusion, even though vitamin C did not show any Th1/Th2 shifting effects in this experiment, it still exerted moderate anti-inflammatory effects. Considering other beneficial effects and inexpensiveness of vitamin C, mega-dose usage of vitamin C could be a potential supplementary modality for the management of asthma.


Asthma; Lung inflammation; Th1/Th2 balance; Vitamin C

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