Vitamin C: the known and the unknown and Goldilocks.
ABSTRACT: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), the antiscorbutic vitamin, cannot be synthesized by humans and other primates, and has to be obtained from diet. Ascorbic acid is an electron donor and acts as a cofactor for fifteen mammalian enzymes. Two sodium-dependent transporters are specific for ascorbic acid, and its oxidation product dehydroascorbic acid is transported by glucose transporters. Ascorbic acid is differentially accumulated by most tissues and body fluids. Plasma and tissue vitamin C concentrations are dependent on amount consumed, bioavailability, renal excretion, and utilization. To be biologically meaningful or to be clinically relevant, in vitro and in vivo studies of vitamin C actions have to take into account physiologic concentrations of the vitamin. In this paper, we review vitamin C physiology; the many phenomena involving vitamin C where new knowledge has accrued or where understanding remains limited; raise questions about the vitamin that remain to be answered; and explore lines of investigations that are likely to be fruitful.
Project description:Vitamin C plays an important role in neutralizing toxic free radicals formed during oxidative metabolism or UV exposure of human skin. This study was performed to investigate the mechanisms that regulate the homoeostasis of vitamin C in HaCaT cells by identifying the events involved in the transport and in the reduction of dehydroascorbic acid. Dehydroascorbic acid accumulated to a greater extent and faster compared with ascorbic acid; its transport appeared to be mediated by hexose transporters and was entirely distinct from ascorbic acid transport. Dehydroascorbate reductase activity was unaffected by glutathione depletion, although it was sensitive to thiol protein reagents. These observations, as well as the subcellular distribution of this enzymic activity and the cofactor specificity, indicate that thioredoxin reductase and lipoamide dehydrogenase play an important role in this reduction process. HaCaT cells were able to enhance their dehydroascorbic acid reductase activity in response to oxidative stress.
Project description:Despite its transport by glucose transporters (GLUTs) in vitro, it is unknown whether dehydroascorbic acid (oxidized vitamin C, DHA) has any in vivo function. To investigate, we created a chemical transport knockout model using the vitamin C analog 6-bromo-ascorbate. This analog is transported on sodium-dependent vitamin C transporters but its oxidized form, 6-bromo-dehydroascorbic acid, is not transported by GLUTs. Mice (gulo-/-) unable to synthesize ascorbate (vitamin C) were raised on 6-bromo-ascorbate. Despite normal survival, centrifugation of blood produced hemolysis secondary to near absence of red blood cell (RBC) ascorbate/6-bromo-ascorbate. Key findings with clinical implications were that RBCs in vitro transported dehydroascorbic acid but not bromo-dehydroascorbic acid; RBC ascorbate in vivo was obtained only via DHA transport; ascorbate via DHA transport in vivo was necessary for RBC structural integrity; and internal RBC ascorbate was essential to maintain ascorbate plasma concentrations in vitro/in vivo.
Project description:A well-established protocol to increase the intracellular content of ascorbic acid was used to investigate the effects of the vitamin on DNA single-strand breakage and toxicity mediated by authentic peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) in U937 cells. This protocol involved exposure for 60 min to 100 microM dehydroascorbic acid, which was taken up by the cells and converted into ascorbic acid via a GSH-independent mechanism. At the time of exposure to ONOO(-), which was performed in fresh saline immediately after loading with dehydroascorbic acid, the vitamin present in the cells was all in its reduced form. It was found that, in cells that are otherwise ascorbate-deficient, an increase in their ascorbic acid content does not prevent, but rather enhances, the DNA-damaging and lethal responses mediated by exogenous ONOO(-). These results therefore suggest that acute supplementation of ascorbic acid can be detrimental for individuals with pathologies associated with a decrease in ascorbic acid and in which ONOO(-) is known to promote deleterious effects.
Project description:Intestinal vitamin C (Asc) absorption was believed to be mediated by the Na(+)-dependent ascorbic acid transporter SVCT1. However, Asc transport across the intestines of SVCT1 knock-out mice is normal indicating that alternative ascorbic acid transport mechanisms exist. To investigate these mechanisms, rodents were gavaged with Asc or its oxidized form dehydroascorbic acid (DHA), and plasma Asc concentrations were measured. Asc concentrations doubled following DHA but not Asc gavage. We hypothesized that the transporters responsible were facilitated glucose transporters (GLUTs). Using Xenopus oocyte expression, we investigated whether facilitative glucose transporters GLUT2 and GLUT5-12 transported DHA. Only GLUT2 and GLUT8, known to be expressed in intestines, transported DHA with apparent transport affinities (Km) of 2.33 and 3.23 mm and maximal transport rates (Vmax) of 25.9 and 10.1 pmol/min/oocyte, respectively. Maximal rates for DHA transport mediated by GLUT2 and GLUT8 in oocytes were lower than maximal rates for 2-deoxy-d-glucose (Vmax of 224 and 32 pmol/min/oocyte for GLUT2 and GLUT8, respectively) and fructose (Vmax of 406 and 116 pmol/min/oocyte for GLUT2 and GLUT8, respectively). These findings may be explained by differences in the exofacial binding of substrates, as shown by inhibition studies with ethylidine glucose. DHA transport activity in GLUT2- and GLUT8-expressing oocytes was inhibited by glucose, fructose, and by the flavonoids phloretin and quercetin. These studies indicate intestinal DHA transport may be mediated by the facilitative sugar transporters GLUT2 and GLUT8. Furthermore, dietary sugars and flavonoids in fruits and vegetables may modulate Asc bioavailability via inhibition of small intestinal GLUT2 and GLUT8.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Vitamin C may be protective against gastric cancer though infection with Helicobacter pylori is associated with a reduction in intragastric concentrations of vitamin C. AIMS: To examine the effects of H pylori infection, gastric juice pH, the severity and extent of gastric inflammation, and CagA antibody status of the individual on gastric juice and mucosal vitamin C concentrations. PATIENTS: One hundred and fifteen patients undergoing routine gastroscopy for investigation of dyspepsia. METHODS: High performance liquid chromatography was used to determine vitamin C concentrations. CagA antibody was detected by western blot analysis. RESULTS: Gastric juice ascorbic acid concentration was significantly lower in patients infected with H pylori compared with those uninfected (19.3 mumol/l (interquartile range (IQR) 10.7-44.5) versus 66.9 mumol/l (IQR 24.4-94.2), p = 0.003). The reduction in gastric juice ascorbic acid concentration was inversely related to the severity of gastritis (p = 0.01). CagA positive patients had significantly lower gastric juice ascorbic acid concentrations than CagA negative ones (14.8 mumol/1 (IQR 7.9-52.2) versus 39 mumol/l (IQR 19.9-142.2), p = 0.05). Decreased gastric juice dehydroascorbic acid concentrations were observed in patients with gastric atrophy and intestinal metaplasia. Mucosal ascorbic acid concentrations were also significantly lower in infected patients than uninfected patients (p = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: The reduction in gastric vitamin C concentrations is related to gastric juice pH, the severity and extent of gastritis, the presence of H pylori, and the CagA antibody status of the individual. These findings may have implications in H pylori associated carcinogenesis.
Project description:Here we report the radiosynthesis of an endogenous redox pair, [(11)C]ascorbic acid ([(11)C]VitC) and [(11)C]dehydroascorbic acid ([(11)C]DHA), the reduced and oxidized forms of vitamin C, and their application to ROS sensing. These results provide the basis for in vivo detection of ROS using positron emission tomography (PET).
Project description:Several amidated biologically active peptides such as pancreastatin, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, pancreatic polypeptide and amylin are produced in endocrine pancreatic tissue which contains the enzyme necessary for their final processing, i.e. peptidylglycine alpha-amidating mono-oxygenase (EC 18.104.22.168). The enzyme needs ascorbic acid for activity as well as copper and molecular oxygen. The present work shows that pancreatic islet cells prepared from overnight cultures of isolated islets from 5-7-day-old rats accumulate 14C-labelled ascorbic acid by a Na(+)-dependent active transport mechanism which involves a saturable process (estimated Km 17.6 microM). Transport was inhibited by ouabain, phloridzin, cytochalasin B, amiloride and probenecid. Glucose inhibited or stimulated uptake, depending on the length of incubation time of the cells. The uptake of dehydroascorbic acid was linearly dependent on concentration. Dehydroascorbic acid was converted to ascorbic acid by an unknown mechanism after uptake. The uptake of both ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid was inhibited by tri-iodothyronine, and uptake of ascorbic acid, but not of dehydroascorbic acid, was inhibited by glucocorticoids. Isolated secretory granules contained a fairly low concentration of iron but a high concentration of copper.
Project description:Under physiological conditions, vitamin C is the main antioxidant found in the central nervous system and is found in two states: reduced as ascorbic acid (AA) and oxidized as dehydroascorbic acid (DHA). However, under pathophysiological conditions, AA is oxidized to DHA. The oxidation of AA and subsequent production of DHA in neurons are associated with a decrease in GSH concentrations, alterations in glucose metabolism and neuronal death. To date, the endogenous molecules that act as intrinsic regulators of neuronal necroptosis under conditions of oxidative stress are unknown. Here, we show that treatment with AA regulates the expression of pro- and antiapoptotic genes. Vitamin C also regulates the expression of RIPK1/MLKL, whereas the oxidation of AA in neurons induces morphological alterations consistent with necroptosis and MLKL activation. The activation of necroptosis by AA oxidation in neurons results in bubble formation, loss of membrane integrity, and ultimately, cellular explosion. These data suggest that necroptosis is a target for cell death induced by vitamin C.
Project description:Adequate plasma, cellular, and tissue vitamin C concentrations are required for maintaining optimal health through suppression of oxidative stress and optimizing functions of certain enzymes that require vitamin C as a cofactor. Polymorphisms in the vitamin C transporter genes, compromising genes encoding sodium-dependent ascorbate transport proteins, and also genes encoding facilitative transporters of dehydroascorbic acid, are associated with plasma and tissue cellular ascorbate status and hence cellular redox balance. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the links between variations in vitamin C transporter genes and common chronic diseases. We conclude that emerging genetic knowledge has a good likelihood of defining future personalized dietary recommendations and interventions; however, further validations through biological studies as well as controlled dietary trials are required to identify predictive and actionable genetic biomarkers. We further advocate the need to consider genetic variation of vitamin C transporters in future clinical and epidemiologic studies on common complex diseases.
Project description:Opioids and their antagonists alter vitamin C metabolism. Morphine binds to glutathione (l-?-glutamyl-l-cysteinyl-glycine), an intracellular ascorbic acid recycling molecule with a wide range of additional activities. The morphine metabolite morphinone reacts with glutathione to form a covalent adduct that is then excreted in urine. Morphine also binds to adrenergic and histaminergic receptors in their extracellular loop regions, enhancing aminergic agonist activity. The first and second extracellular loops of adrenergic and histaminergic receptors are, like glutathione, characterized by the presence of cysteines and/or methionines, and recycle ascorbic acid with similar efficiency. Conversely, adrenergic drugs bind to extracellular loops of opioid receptors, enhancing their activity. These observations suggest functional interactions among opioids and amines, their receptors, and glutathione. We therefore explored the relative binding affinities of ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, opioid and adrenergic compounds, as well as various control compounds, to glutathione and glutathione-like peptides derived from the extracellular loop regions of the human beta 2-adrenergic, dopamine D1, histamine H1, and mu opioid receptors, as well as controls. Some cysteine-containing peptides derived from these receptors do bind ascorbic acid and/or dehydroascorbic acid and the same peptides generally bind opioid compounds. Glutathione binds not only morphine but also naloxone, methadone, and methionine enkephalin. Some adrenergic drugs also bind to glutathione and glutathione-like receptor regions. These sets of interactions provide a novel basis for understanding some ways that adrenergic, opioid and antioxidant systems interact during anesthesia and drug abuse and may have utility for understanding drug interactions.