Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can protect the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the membrane from oxidation, regulate the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), and modulate signal transduction. Immunomodulatory effects of vitamin E have been observed in animal and human models under normal and disease conditions. With advances in understating of the development, function, and regulation of dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages, natural killer (NK) cells, T cells, and B cells, recent studies have focused on vitamin E's effects on specific immune cells. This review will summarize the immunological changes observed with vitamin E intervention in animals and humans, and then describe the cell-specific effects of vitamin E in order to understand the mechanisms of immunomodulation and implications of vitamin E for immunological diseases.
Keywords: T cells; dendritic cells; immunomodulation; infection; macrophages; vitamin E.