J Neurol Sci, 2006 Apr 15;243(1-2):5-12.
PMID: 16442562


Oxidative stress is thought to be one of the factors that cause neurodegeneration and that this can be inhibited by antioxidants. Since astrocytes support the survival of central nervous system (CNS) neurons, we compared the effect of alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocotrienol in minimizing the cytotoxic damage induced by H(2)O(2), a pro-oxidant. Primary astrocyte cultures were pretreated with either alpha-tocopherol or gamma-tocotrienol for 1 h before incubation with 100 microM H(2)O(2) for 24 h. Cell viability was then assessed using the MTS assay while apoptosis was determined using a commercial ELISA kit as well as by fluorescent staining of live and apoptotic cells. The uptake of alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocotrienol by astrocytes were also determined using HPLC. Results showed that gamma-tocotrienol is toxic at concentrations >200 microM but protects against H(2)O(2) induced cell loss and apoptosis in a dose dependent manner up to 100 microM. alpha-Tocopherol was not cytotoxic in the concentration range tested (up to 750 microM), reduced apoptosis to the same degree as that of gamma-tocotrienol but was less effective in maintaining the viable cell number. Since the uptake of alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocotrienol by astrocytes is similar, this may reflect the roles of these 2 vitamin E subfamilies in inhibiting apoptosis and stimulating proliferation in astrocytes.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.