Role of the B vitamins in the immune response

Adv Exp Med Biol. 1981:135:93-106. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4615-9200-6_5.


Studies conducted in our laboratory relating to the development of immune processes in B vitamin deficiency states of experimental animals have been reviewed. 1. The significant participation of certain of these nutritional factors in the production of circulating antibodies to a variety of antigens and the manifestation of delayed hypersensitivity reactions, including the rejection of tissue transplants, have been described. 2. Investigations on the mode of action of pyridoxine and pantothenic acid have demonstrated a marked reduction in the production of antibody-forming cells following antigenic stimulation in both deficiency states. The metabolism of antigen appeared to be normal. However, these two vitamins seem to function at different loci in the development of the immune process. Whereas pyridoxine appears to be necessary for the production of "C1" units from serine which are required for the biosynthesis of nucleic acids, it seems likely that pantothenic acid is involved in the secretion of newly-synthesized proteins into the extracellular compartment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects*
  • Biotin / deficiency
  • Folic Acid Deficiency / immunology
  • Humans
  • Pantothenic Acid / deficiency
  • Riboflavin Deficiency / immunology
  • Skin Transplantation
  • Thiamine Deficiency / immunology
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / immunology
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / immunology
  • Vitamin B Deficiency / immunology*


  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Biotin