Research: FERRANDEZ and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 65


FERRANDEZ and colleagues, Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain studied, in vitro, the changes in the effects of several antioxidants on natural killer (NK) cell activity that occur with ageing .



The following antioxidants were investigated: thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid (thioproline); N-acetylcysteine (NAC); ascorbic acid (AA); and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E, VE) . NK cell activity of mononuclear cells from axillary nodes, spleen and thymus and peritoneal leukocytes of BALB/c male mice was assessed in a nonradioactive cytotoxic assay. Cells from young (8 weeks), adult (24 weeks), mature (48 weeks) and old (72 weeks) mice were studied. Cells from the murine lymphoma YAC-1 were used as target cells, and a ratio of effector: target cells of 10:1 was used. The concentrations of antioxidants used were: thioproline (1 mM), NAC (1 mM), AA (5 microM) and VE (5 microM). These concentrations had been found to induce a maximum effect in previous dose-response studies.


In general, the antioxidants examined enhanced NK activity at all ages studied. Stimulation was higher with thioproline and NAS than with AA and VE. The effects were similar for the three lymphoid organs and the peritoneum.


The observed stimulation of NK cell activity by antioxidants is an important favourable response, especially in older mice, in which age results in a decrease in NK function and hence a higher incidence of cancers .


Ferrandez MD et al. Effects in vitro of several antioxidants on the natural killer cell function of aging mice. Experimental Gerontology 34 (5): 675-85. Aug 1999.

ICAN Skyscraper

Scientific and Medical Network 2

Cycle Around the World for Charity 2023

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro Charity 2023

Cycle from Milan to Venice for Regain 2023

top of the page