α-Tocopherol (α-T) and α-tocotrienol (α-T3) are well recognized as lipophilic antioxidants. Nevertheless, there is limited knowledge on their location in heterogeneous cell membranes. We first investigated the distribution of α-T and α-T3 to the cholesterol-rich microdomains (lipid rafts and caveolae) of heterogeneous cell membranes by incubating these antioxidants with cultured mouse fibroblasts.
Levels of cellular uptake for α-T and α-T3 were adjusted to the same order, as that of the latter was much more efficient than that of the former in the cultured cells. After ultracentrifugation, α-T and α-T3 were partitioned to the microdomain fractions. When the distribution of α-T and α-T3 was further confirmed by using methyl-β-cyclodextrin (which removes cholesterol from membranes), α-T was suggested to be distributed to the microdomains (approx. 9% of the total uptake). The same treatment did not affect α-T3 content in the microdomain fractions, indicating that α-T3 is not located in these cholesterol-rich domains. However, α-T and α-T3 significantly inhibited the production of peroxidized cholesterol when cells were exposed to ultraviolet-A light.
These results suggest that α-T and α-T3 can act as membranous antioxidants against photo-irradiated cholesterol peroxidation irrespective of their distribution to cholesterol-rich microdomains.
Abstract Vitamin E is the generic term for a group of tocopherols and tocotrienols (T3). Hyperlipidemia has been known to cause progressive chronic renal dysfunction (CRD). Several investigators have reported that T3 have hypolipidemic and nephroprotective activity against free radical-related diseases. This study was conducted to determine if T3 as tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) from palm oil would protect against lipid-induced CRD in rats. For the induction of atherosclerosis and hyperlipidemia, Wistar male rats were fed an atherogenic diet containing 1.25% cholesterol, 0.5% cholic acid and 21% beef tallow (42.6% calories from fat). The atherogenic diet was given for 14 weeks to induce atherosclerosis. The control rats were given normal rat chow and drug control animals treated with TRF (100 mg/kg bw; orally). The first group was taken as disease control in which the animals were left untreated and given normal rat chow for six weeks, while the second group was treated with 100 mg TRF/kg bw. Atherosclerosis and renal functions were evaluated after six weeks of TRF treatment. Feeding an atherogenic diet to rats for 14 weeks resulted in dyslipidemia and impaired renal functions with decreased glomerular filtration rate. The treatment with TRF significantly reduced dyslipidemia and inhibited the development of CRD caused by atherogenic factors. These findings show that low-dose treatment of TRF may provide significant health benefits in the prevention of lipid-induced CRD. The study suggests that TRF is effective in preventing lipid-induced CRD.
Abstract: Tocopherols and tocotrienols possess vitamin E activity and function as the major lipid-soluble antioxidants in the human body. Commercial lipid emulsions are composed of different oils and supply different amounts of vitamin E. The objective of this study was to measure all 8 vitamin E homologs within 4 different commercial lipid emulsions and evaluate their distribution in guinea pig tissues. Materials and Methods: The distribution of vitamin E homologs within plasma and guinea pig tissues was determined using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system. Lipid hydroperoxides in lipid emulsions were determined using a commercial kit (Cayman Chemical Company, Ann Arbor, MI), and malondialdehyde tissue levels were determined using an HPLC system. Results: The lipid emulsions contained variable amounts of tocopherols, which were significantly different between emulsions. Tocotrienols were present at very low concentrations (≤0.3%). We found no correlation between the amount of vitamin E present in the lipid emulsions and lipid peroxidation. Hydroperoxides were the lowest with an olive oil-based emulsion and highest with a fish oil emulsion. The predominant vitamin E homolog in guinea pig tissues was α-tocopherol. No tissues had detectable levels of tocotrienols. Vitamin E levels (primarily α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol) were highly variable among organ tissues. Plasma levels were a poor reflection of most tissue levels. Conclusion: Vitamin E levels within different lipid emulsions and plasma/tissues are highly variable, and no one tissue or plasma sample serves as a good proxy for levels in other tissues. All study emulsions were well tolerated and did not significantly increase systemic lipid peroxidation.