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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DIETARY CAROTENOIDS, RETINOIDS, AND BIOACTIVATES ON HEALTHY AGING

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Pharmacological dose of alpha-tocopherol induces cardiotoxicity in Wistar rats determined by echocardiography and histology)

Author
item Nascimento, Maria Carolina
item Matsubara, Beatriz
item Matsubara, Luiz
item Correa, Camila
item Pereira, Elenize
item Moreira, Priscila
item Carvalho, Flavio
item Burini, Caio
item Padovani, Carlos
item Yeum, Kyung-jin
item Ferreira, Ana Lucia

Submitted to: Human and Experimental Toxicology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/11/2011
Publication Date: 10/20/2011
Citation: Nascimento, M., Matsubara, B.B., Matsubara, L.S., Correa, C.R., Pereira, E.J., Moreira, P.L., Carvalho, F.A., Burini, C.H., Padovani, C.R., Yeum, K., Ferreira, A.A. 2011. Pharmacological dose of alpha-tocopherol induces cardiotoxicity in Wistar rats determined by echocardiography and histology. Human and Experimental Toxicology. 30(10):1540-1548.

Interpretive Summary: The effect of a supraphysiological dose (greater than normally present in the body) of vitamin E on heart health was studied in Wistar rats. Animals were randomly assigned to either the control or the vitamin E group. Animals received corn oil or vitamin E dissolved in corn oil for a 7-week period. Rats then underwent an exam using a type of ultrasound test (i.e. echocardiogram) to compare heart muscle tissue anatomy at the end of the study period. Vitamin E levels were also assessed. As compared to the control group, the vitamin E-supplemented group showed substantially lower body weight and total heart weight; heart muscle tissue anatomy displayed functional disabilities. The vitamin E uptake in target tissue was confirmed by determination of vitamin E concentrations in heart tissue. The current study indicates that supplementation with supraphysiological levels of vitamin E can induce toxicity in the heart of healthy rats.

Technical Abstract: The effect of pharmacological dose of alpha-tocopherol on heart health was determined in Wistar rats. Animals were randomly assigned to either C (control, n = 11) or E (alpha-tocopherol, n = 11) group. Animals received corn oil (C) or alpha-tocopherol dissolved in corn oil (250 mg alpha-tocopherol/[kg body wt/day]) (E) by gavage for a 7-week period. Rats underwent echocardiogram and were analyzed for cardiomyocyte histology and cardiac alpha-tocopherol absorption at the end of the study period. As compared to the C group, alpha-tocopherol-supplemented group showed significantly (p < 0.05) lower body weight (E, 412.8 g vs C, 480.3 g) and total cardiac weight (E, 0.94 g vs C, 1.08 g); cardiomyocyte histological impairment; smaller left ventricle (LV) (LV end-diastolic diameter (E, 7.22 mm vs C, 7.37 mm), lower LV systolic [left ventricle fractional shortening (E, 47.6% vs C, 53.6%) and ejection fraction ratio (E, 85.4 vs C, 89.9)] and diastolic [early peak velocities of diastolic transmitral flow (E, 64.6 cm/sec vs C, 75.1 cm/sec)] function. The alpha-tocopherol uptake in target tissue was confirmed by determination of alpha-tocopherol concentration medians in cardiac tissue (E, 109.91 nmol/kg vs C, 52.09 nmol/kg). The current study indicates that pharmacological dose of alpha-tocopherol supplementation can induce cardiotoxicity in healthy rats.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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