Pharmacologic serum levels of vitamin E administered to low birth weight infants predispose them to infectious complications. We studied in vitro the effect of vitamin E, its vehicle and buffer (Krebs Ringers phosphate glucose) on the ability of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) to produce superoxide anion, an oxygen radical important for bacterial killing. We found that superoxide anion production after a 5-min exposure to phorbol myristate acetate was significantly decreased in vitamin E-treated PMN (76 ± 15 nM/10<sup>7</sup> PMN) compared to vehicle-treated PMN (289 ± 109 nM/10<sup>7</sup> PMN). We also found that significantly decreased superoxide anion production was associated with 5.0 and 10.0 mg/dl but not with 3.5 mg/dl vitamin E. Our results support the hypothesis that pharmacologic concentrations of vitamin E depress PMN oxidative activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health