Tocopherols and 6-hydroxy-chroman-2-carbonitrile derivatives inhibit vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation by a nonantioxidant mechanism

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1995 Apr 1;318(1):241-6. doi: 10.1006/abbi.1995.1226.


The effects of two groups of similar compounds, a series of tocopherols and one of 6-hydroxy-chroman-2-carbonitrile, have been studied in vascular smooth muscle cells. A poor correlation has been found between antiproliferative and antioxidant properties of these molecules. D-alpha-Tocopherol inhibits cell proliferation, while D-alpha-tocopherylquinone has been found neither to inhibit nor to activate. D-beta-Tocopherol, a poor inhibitor of smooth muscle cell proliferation, has been shown to be capable of preventing and reversing the inhibition by D-alpha-tocopherol. It is concluded that the tocopherols and carbonitrile derivatives tested here appear to inhibit smooth muscle cell proliferation by a nonantioxidant mechanism. The competition between D-alpha-tocopherol and D-beta-tocopherol suggests the existence of a common binding site for the two molecules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Binding Sites
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Chromans / metabolism
  • Chromans / pharmacology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism
  • Nitriles / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Vitamin E / metabolism
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Chromans
  • Nitriles
  • Vitamin E