Abstract Title:

Effects in vitro of several antioxidants on the natural killer function of aging mice.

Abstract Source:

Exp Gerontol. 1999 Aug ;34(5):675-85. PMID: 10530792

Abstract Author(s):

M D Ferrández, R Correa, M Del Rio, M De la Fuente

Article Affiliation:

M D Ferrández


The aim of the present work is to study the change with aging in the effect in vitro of several antioxidants: thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid or thioproline, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), ascorbic acid (AA), and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E, VE) on the natural killer (NK) activity in mononuclear cells from axillary nodes, spleen, thymus and peritoneal leukocytes from BALB/c male mice. Young (8+/-2 weeks), adult (24+/-2 weeks). mature (48+/-2 weeks), and old (72+/-2 weeks) animals were studied. A nonradioactive cytotoxic assay with cells from the murine lymphoma YAC-1 as target cells and a relation effector cells/target cells of 10/1 were used. The concentrations of the different antioxidants were: 1 mM for thioproline and N-acetylcysteine and 5 microM for ascorbic acid and alpha-tocopherol, which induced a maximum effect in our previous dose-response experiments. The results show that, in general, the above antioxidants cause an enhancement of the NK activity at all ages studied, this stimulation being higher with thioproline and N-acetylcysteine than with ascorbic acid and alpha-tocopherol. The effects were similar for the three lymphoid organs and the peritoneum. This stimulation of the NK activity by antioxidants is an important favorable response, especially in old mice, in which age results in a decrease in NK function and, therefore, in a higher incidence of neoplasia.

Study Type : Animal Study

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