Leukocyte function in vitro after adding vitamins A, E, and Beta-Carotene



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Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station


Blood neutrophils and pulmonary alveolar macrophages isolated from calves at 3 and 6 wk of age were cultured in medium without added vitamins or supplemented with vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin A and vitamin E, or ßcarotene and vitamin E. Macrophage bactericidal activity improved with A-E supplementation compared to ß-carotene-E supplementation at wk 3. Neutrophil bactericidal activity decreased with all vitamin E treatments at wk 3 and with vitamins E and A-E at wk 6. Neutrophil phagocytosis improved at wk 3 with A, E, and A-E supplementations. The chemotactic index improved at wk 3 with ß-carotene- E compared to vitamin E alone and at wk 6 with vitamin E compared to vitamin A and control treatments. The retinol content of neutrophils at wk 3 was variable, but by wk 6, cells supplemented with A, E, or A-E had higher retinol concentrations than control cells. Neutrophil a-tocopherol concentrations at 3 wk increased over controls with vitamin E or ßcarotene- E supplementation, but at wk 6, vitamin E-supplemented cells were different only from vitamin A-supplemented cells. These data suggest that there are optimum plasma concentrations of vitamins A and E for leukocyte functions.



Retinol, Alpha-Carotene, Neutrophils, Macrophages, Calves