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Cell Immunol. 1999 May 25;194(1):1-5.

Ascorbic acid is a potent inhibitor of various forms of T cell apoptosis.

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Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331, USA.


This study was designed to examine the effect of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) on various death pathways of mouse T cells. Unlike humans, mice produce their own ascorbic acid and our study tested the effect of additional ascorbic acid on murine T cells. Our data show that three T cell death pathways (growth factor withdrawal-, spontaneous-, and steroid-induced death) were inhibited when T cells were incubated with ascorbic acid. The data show that both activated and resting T cells were responsive to ascorbic acid since both populations were resistant to death stimuli when treated with ascorbic acid. Additionally, effector T cells were more likely to enter S phase if treated with ascorbic acid. Our data implicate ascorbic acid as a potent inhibitor of various forms of T cell death and suggest that vitamin C may function as an immune booster through this mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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