Supplementation with natural forms of vitamin E augments antigen-specific TH1-type immune response to tetanus toxoid

Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:782067. doi: 10.1155/2013/782067. Epub 2013 Jul 7.


This study compared the ability of three forms of vitamin E [tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF), alpha-tocopherol (α-T), and delta-tocotrienol (δ-T3)] to enhance immune response to tetanus toxoid (TT) immunisation in a mouse model. Twenty BALB/c mice were divided into four groups of five mice each. The mice were fed with the different forms of vitamin E (1 mg) or vehicle daily for two weeks before they were given the TT vaccine [4 Lf] intramuscularly (i.m.). Booster vaccinations were given on days 28 and 42. Serum was collected (days 0, 28, and 56) to quantify anti-TT levels. At autopsy, splenocytes harvested were cultured with TT or mitogens. The production of anti-TT antibodies was augmented (P < 0.05) in mice that were fed with δ-T3 or TRF compared to controls. The production of IFN-γ and IL-4 by splenocytes from the vitamin E treated mice was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than that from controls. The IFN-γ production was the highest in animals supplemented with δ-T3 followed by TRF and finally α-T. Production of TNF-α was suppressed in the vitamin E treated group compared to vehicle-supplemented controls. Supplementation with δ-T3 or TRF can enhance immune response to TT immunisation and production of cytokines that promote cell-mediated (TH1) immune response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Mice
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tetanus Toxoid / administration & dosage*
  • Th1 Cells / drug effects
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin E / chemistry


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Tetanus Toxoid
  • Vitamin E
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma