Effects of a prolonged vitamin E deficiency in the rat

J Nutr. 1977 Jul;107(7):1200-8. doi: 10.1093/jn/107.7.1200.


Rats fed a vitamin E-deficient diet containing 10% "stripped" corn oil had reduced growth rate and elevated platelet count by 12 weeks of age, and a normocytic anemia with elevated reticulocytes by 16 weeks of age. After 5 months, rats became emaciated and developed kyphoscoliosis. Some rats developed skin ulcers and tremors, and mortality was high. Neuromuscular lesions included a chronic necrotizing myopathy and localized axonal dystrophy. There was also a selective activation of lysosomes in the central nervous system microcirculation. Liver ascorbic acid of deficient rats was the same as in those receiving vitamin E. Urinary excretion of p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate after a tyrosine load was also the same in deficient and control rats. It was concluded that neither vitamin C synthesis or utilization was affected the E-deficient rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Female
  • Kyphosis / etiology
  • Male
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology
  • Necrosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Rats / metabolism*
  • Scoliosis / etiology
  • Skin Ulcer / etiology
  • Thrombocytosis / complications
  • Vitamin E Deficiency* / complications
  • Vitamin E Deficiency* / metabolism
  • Vitamin E Deficiency* / pathology


  • Ascorbic Acid