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Effect of vitamin C and vitamin E on prostaglandin synthesis by fibroblasts and squamous carcinoma cells.

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Laboratory of Hormone Research, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry 64108.


Dietary levels of vitamins C and E have been associated with cancer prevention and to a lesser extent with therapeutic enhancement of cancer treatment. Inhibition of prostaglandins (PGs) by pharmacological agents has been demonstrated to enhance immunocompetence, and to suppress growth of tumors in animals and humans. We report here on the effect of vitamins C and E on PGE2 production by human gingival fibroblasts and SCC-25 oral squamous carcinoma cells. The results indicate: 1. vitamins C and E exert a dose-dependent effect on arachidonic acid (AA) release and PGE2 synthesis; 2. vitamin E has a biphasic effect which is stimulatory at 1 and 10 microM and inhibitory at 100 microM; 3. vitamin E is considerably more potent than vitamin C in its inhibitory effect on AA and PGE2 in both cell types; 4. a combination of the two vitamins has a consistent dose-dependent inhibitory effect on AA and PGE2; 5. vitamin C stimulates PGE2 synthesis from exogenous AA in fibroblasts, and inhibits it in SCC-25 cells. The in vivo significance of these findings requires further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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