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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 12;8(8):e71180. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071180. eCollection 2013.

High concentration of vitamin E decreases thermosensation and thermotaxis learning and the underlying mechanisms in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Developmental Genes and Human Diseases in Ministry of Education, Medical School of Southeast University, Nanjing, China.

Abstract

α-tocopherol is a powerful liposoluble antioxidant and the most abundant isoform of vitamin E in the body. Under normal physiological conditions, adverse effects of relatively high concentration of vitamin E on organisms and the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. In the present study, we used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo assay system to investigate the possible adverse effects of high concentration of vitamin E on thermosensation and thermotaxis learning and the underlying mechanisms. Our data show that treatment with 100-200 µg/mL of vitamin E did not noticeably influence both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning; however, treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E altered both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning. The observed decrease in thermotaxis learning in 400 µg/mL of vitamin E treated nematodes might be partially due to the moderate but significant deficits in thermosensation, but not due to deficits in locomotion behavior or perception to food and starvation. Treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E did not noticeably influence the morphology of GABAergic neurons, but significantly decreased fluorescent intensities of the cell bodies in AFD sensory neurons and AIY interneurons, required for thermosensation and thermotaxis learning control. Treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E affected presynaptic function of neurons, but had no remarkable effects on postsynaptic function. Moreover, promotion of synaptic transmission by activating PKC-1 effectively retrieved deficits in both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning induced by 400 µg/mL of vitamin E. Therefore, relatively high concentrations of vitamin E administration may cause adverse effects on thermosensation and thermotaxis learning by inducing damage on the development of specific neurons and presynaptic function under normal physiological conditions in C. elegans.

PMID:
23951104
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3741368
Free PMC Article
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