Vitamin E supplementation suppresses prostaglandin E1(2) synthesis and enhances the immune response of aged mice

Mech Ageing Dev. 1986 Apr;34(2):191-201. doi: 10.1016/0047-6374(86)90034-5.


The potential for vitamin E to modulate prostaglandin metabolism and alter immune response in aged mice was studied. Semi-purified diets containing 30 ppm or 500 ppm dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (VitE) were fed for 6 weeks to young (3 months) and old (24 months) C57BL/6J mice. Delayed hypersensitivity skin test to DNFB and the proliferative response of splenocytes to T- and B-cell mitogens were assessed. Ex-vivo synthesis of Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was measured in spleen homogenates and serum vitamin E was measured by HPLC. Vitamin E supplementation of aged mice enhanced percent ear swelling to DNFB as well as the mitogenic response of splenocytes to Con A and LPS (P less than 0.05). Furthermore, spleen homogenates from old mice fed 30 ppm VitE had a significantly higher PGE2 level than young mice fed 30 ppm VitE and old mice fed 500 ppm VitE (3.20 +/- 0.07 micrograms/g vs. 2.60 +/- 0.08 and 2.3 +/- 0.10, respectively). Thus, the vitamin E enhanced immune response of aged mice appears to be mediated by decreased prostaglandin synthesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Concanavalin A / pharmacology
  • Dinitrofluorobenzene / immunology
  • Dinoprostone
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed
  • Immunity / drug effects*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • Prostaglandins E / biosynthesis*
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Prostaglandins E
  • Concanavalin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Dinitrofluorobenzene
  • Dinoprostone