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Immune Netw. 2013 Apr;13(2):70-4. doi: 10.4110/in.2013.13.2.70. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Vitamin C Is an Essential Factor on the Anti-viral Immune Responses through the Production of Interferon-α/β at the Initial Stage of Influenza A Virus (H3N2) Infection.

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1
Laboratory of Anti-oxidant Immunology and Vitamin C, Department of Anatomy, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 110-799, Korea.

Abstract

L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is one of the well-known anti-viral agents, especially to influenza virus. Since the in vivo anti-viral effect is still controversial, we investigated whether vitamin C could regulate influenza virus infection in vivo by using Gulo (-/-) mice, which cannot synthesize vitamin C like humans. First, we found that vitamin C-insufficient Gulo (-/-) mice expired within 1 week after intranasal inoculation of influenza virus (H3N2/Hongkong). Viral titers in the lung of vitamin C-insufficient Gulo (-/-) mice were definitely increased but production of anti-viral cytokine, interferon (IFN)-α/β, was decreased. On the contrary, the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the lung and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-α/β, were increased in the lung. Taken together, vitamin C shows in vivo anti-viral immune responses at the early time of infection, especially against influenza virus, through increased production of IFN-α/β.

KEYWORDS:

Anti-viral immune response; Gulo (-/-) mice; Influenza A virus; Vitamin C

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