Sprague-Dawley rats were fed alpha-tocopherol, tocotrienol, or quercetin to examine their dietary effects on serum lipid contents and immunoglobulin productivity. In tocotrienol or quercetin groups, serum triglyceride was lower than in the none group. Moreover, in the alpha-tocopherol group, serum IgA level and IgA productivity of MLN lymphocytes were high, while in the tocotrienol group, IgM productivity of spleen lymphocytes and IgA, IgG, and IgM productivity of MLN lymphocytes were high. Thus, we suggested each antioxidant had different effects in rats.
Gamma-Tocotrienol (gamma-T3), a naturally occurring analog of tocopherol (vitamin E), has been shown to have a hypocholesterolemic effect in animals and humans. Unlike tocopherol, it has also been shown to reduce plasma apoB levels in hypercholesterolemic subjects. The aim of this study was to define the mechanism of action of gamma-T3 on hepatic modulation of apoB production using cultured HepG2 cells as the model system. HepG2 cells preincubated with gamma-T3 were initially shown to inhibit the rate of incorporation of [14C]acetate into cholesterol in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, with a maximum 86+/-3% inhibition at 50 micromol/L observed within 6 hours. gamma-T3, on the other hand, had no significant effect on the uptake of [14C]glycerol into pools of cellular triacylglycerol and phospholipid relative to untreated control. The rate of apoB synthesis and secretion was then studied by an [35S]methionine pulse-labeling experiment and quantified by immunoprecipitating apoB on chasing up to 3 hours. An average reduction of 24+/-3% in labeled apoB in the media was apparent with gamma-T3 despite a 60+/-2% increase in apoB synthesis. Fractionation of secreted apoB revealed a relatively denser lipoprotein particle, suggesting a less stable particle. Using a digitonin-permeabilized HepG2 cell system, the effects of gamma-T3 on apoB translocation and degradation in the endoplasmic reticulum were further investigated. The generation of a specific N-terminal 70-kDa proteolytic fragment proved to be a sensitive measure of the rate of apoB translocation and degradation. The abundance of this fragment increased significantly in gamma-T3-treated cells relative to untreated control cells (50+/-21%) after 2 hours of chase. In addition, the presence of gamma-T3 resulted in an average decrease of 64+/-8% in intact apoB. Taken together, the data suggest that gamma-T3 stimulates apoB degradation possibly as the result of decreased apoB translocation into the endoplasmic reticulum lumen. It is speculated that the lack of cholesterol availability reduces the number of secreted apoB-containing lipoprotein particles by limiting translocation of apoB into the endoplasmic reticulum lumen.