Antioxidant modulation of cytokines and their biologic function in the aged.


Meydani SN, Santos MS, Wu D, Hayek MG




Z Ernahrungswiss


The oxidant/antioxidant balance is an important determinant of immune cell function, including maintaining integrity and functionality of membrane lipids, cellular proteins, nucleic acids, and for control of signal transduction and gene expression in immune cells. Optimal levels of antioxidants are needed for maintenance of the immune response across all age groups. This need might be more critical, however, in the aged. Age-associated dysregulation of immune response, particularly of cytokine production and T-cell-mediated function, is well documented. The well-known age-related increase in free radical formation and lipid peroxidation contributes, at least in part, to this phenomenon. This review will summarize animal and human studies undertaken by the authors as well as those by other investigators on the effect of antioxidants, vitamin E, beta- carotene, and glutathione on cytokine production and T-cell-mediated function in the aged.