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Arterioscler Thromb. 1994 Mar;14(3):494-9.

Vitamin E protects against impairment of endothelium-mediated relaxations in cholesterol-fed rabbits.

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William Harvey Research Institute, London, UK.


The vascular effects of dietary vitamin E were investigated in isolated carotid artery preparations from cholesterol-fed New Zealand White rabbits. Rabbits were fed either a control, 1% cholesterol, or 1% cholesterol plus 0.2% vitamin E diet for 4 weeks. In raised-tone preparations, relaxant responses to acetylcholine were enhanced in rabbits fed cholesterol plus vitamin E, reversing the reduction in responses measured in preparations from cholesterol-fed rabbits. Relaxant responses to the calcium ionophore A23187 were significantly enhanced in cholesterol plus vitamin E-fed rabbits compared with those fed cholesterol alone, with no difference between control and cholesterol-fed rabbits. Relaxant responses to sodium nitroprusside were not different between the three dietary groups. Constrictor responses to noradrenaline and serotonin in isolated carotid artery preparations at basal tone were unaltered after cholesterol and cholesterol plus vitamin E diets. The copper-induced oxidation of beta-very-low-density lipoproteins (beta VLDL) isolated from plasma of rabbits fed a cholesterol plus vitamin E diet was almost completely inhibited compared with the oxidation of beta VLDL from rabbits fed cholesterol alone. These results show that vitamin E prevents endothelial dysfunction associated with cholesterol feeding and suggests that vitamin E may be beneficial in preventing functional impairment associated with atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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