Skip to comments.Vitamin C Is a Key Ingredient for Immune Cell Function – A Leg Up in Treating Autoimmune Diseases
Posted on 07/21/2021 8:55:42 AM PDT by Red Badger
Vitamin C is a key ingredient for immune cell function. Credit: La Jolla Institute for Immunology
Harnessing the combined power of Vitamin C and TET proteins may give scientists a leg up in treating autoimmune diseases.
You can’t make a banana split without bananas. And you can’t generate stable regulatory T cells without Vitamin C or enzymes called TET proteins, it appears.
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) help control inflammation and autoimmunity in the body. Tregs are so important, in fact, that scientists are working to generate stable induced Tregs (iTregs) in vitro for use as treatments for autoimmune diseases as well as rejection to transplanted organs. Unfortunately, it has proven difficult to find the right molecular ingredients to induce stable iTregs.
Now scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology and Emory University School of Medicine report that Vitamin C and TET proteins can work together to give Tregs their life-saving power.
“Vitamin C can be used to stabilize iTregs generated in vitro,” says LJI Instructor Xiaojing Yue, Ph.D., who served as co-first author for the EMBO Reports study. “We hope that these kinds of induced Tregs can be used in the future for treatment of autoimmune diseases and organ transplantation.”
The recent study, led by LJI Professor Anjana Rao, Ph.D., and Emory Instructor Benjamin G Barwick, Ph.D., builds on the previous discovery that Vitamin C can enhance the enzymatic activity of TET proteins and prompt the generation of stable iTregs under lab conditions.
This finding was encouraging, but the scientists did not want to work toward new autoimmune therapies without first analyzing the gene expression patterns and other key epigenetic features of the induced Tregs.
“We wanted to study the entire system at a whole genome level using next generation sequencing technology to better understand the molecular features of these cells,” says Yue.
Study co-first author Daniela Samaniego-Castruita, a graduate student at LJI, spearheaded the analysis of gene expression and epigenetic changes in the iTregs. A major type of epigenetic modification involves the DNA itself through the addition or removal of molecules called methyl groups from cytosines, one of the four DNA bases. The methyl groups can be further oxidized by TET enzymes. All of these interactions can eventually change how cells “read” the DNA code.
Another type of epigenetic change involves the alteration of DNA accessibility: whether DNA is loosely or tightly coiled. As the DNA coils unwind, regulatory regions become exposed which subsequently influence gene expression.
In their analysis, the researchers found TET proteins are absolutely required for maintaining the gene expression and epigenetic features that make Tregs as what they are; and adding Vitamin C led to iTregs with similar similar gene expression and epigenetic features as normal “wild type” Tregs found in the body. The study also reveals an intriguing connection between TET enzymatic activity, Vitamin C and IL-2/STAT5 signaling.
“In mice that are deficient for components of IL-2/STAT5 signaling, such as IL-2, IL-2 receptors or STAT5, the Tregs cannot develop properly or they can have impaired function,” Yue says.
The researchers demonstrate that on one hand, TET-deficiency in Treg cells leads to impaired IL-2/STAT5 signaling; on the other hand, Vitamin C confers iTregs enhanced IL-2/STAT5 signaling by increasing the expression level of IL-2 receptor and the functional form of STAT5, and STAT5 binding to essential regions in the genome, rendering these cells survive better in tough environments with low IL-2 supplementation.
“We are looking for more small molecules to stabilize TET activity and generate induced Tregs that are even more stable,” says Yue. “These induced Tregs could eventually be used to treat patients.”
“This research gives us a new way to think about treating autoimmune diseases,” says Samaniego-Castruita.
Reference: “Whole-genome analysis of TET dioxygenase function in regulatory T cells” 21 July 2021, EMBO Reports. DOI: 10.15252/embr.202152716
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01 grants R35 CA210043 and AI 12858901; S10 RR027366, S10OD016262), a CONACYT/UCMEXUS fellowship, CIRM UCSD Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Research & Training Grant II (TG2-01154), the American Cancer Society (PF-17-109-1-TBG), a Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Fellowship, an American Society of Hematology Scholar Award and institutional funds through Emory University.
Additional study authors are Edahí González-Avalos and Xiang Li.
Linus Pauling came up with the decades ago.
Vitamin D3 is important as well..............
The girl and I were sick in February 2020 and I went to the store and bought lots of apple/ orange juice, fresh fruit and vitamins.
Everytime I walked by the refrigerator I drank some juice and took a vitamin c tab.
I cannot say we had the wufli but it had the appearance of it
Good info but how much Vitamin C should a person take? I take 2000 mg per day and have been for years. I have heard some people take as much as 6000 mg per day.
In May 2020 my orthopedic surgeon prescribed C and D3 starting a month before surgery, and for the month after. I felt to good, I’ve continued both religiously. Knock wood, but haven’t been any kind of sick.
I was in the hospital late February 2020 and most of April for Quad by-pass surgery.
I had a pneumonia shot which is SOP for hospitals and later a common flu shot. Haven’t had so much as a sniffle since then..............
My doc did too. I do both every morning with my BP meds.................
I guess you’re good until you pee OJ.................
I think Pauling took 10,000 mg per day. Can’t argue with the Godfather of Vitamin C who lived past 100 years old.
“Good info but how much Vitamin C should a person take? I take 2000 mg per day and have been for years. I have heard some people take as much as 6000 mg per day.”
I’ll offer this FWIW ... I had upped my dosage of Vit C to 2000mg per day. I did that for many years. It worked well in reducing symptoms of colds.
However I developed a kidney stone which was no fun. I read that excessive Vit C can contribute to kidney stones. Of course peanuts and other foods can contribute as well.
But I read that if one has issues with kidney stones they should limit Vit C intake to 500mg per day.
The interesting thing is that after cutting back from 2000mg to 500mg for six months now I haven’t noticed any change. Of course I had started taking more Vit D3 along with the Vit C. I take 5000 units a day of Vit D and occasionally take 10000 units a day.
My docs recommended amount is up to bowel tolerance...generally I take @10,000 a day...
And Vit K which you must take with D3
No mention in this article that high dose Vitamin C can end up making kidney stones. Better to teke C that is not ascorbic acid (Rose Hips, etc. are better).
On the other hand, vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which can be stored in the body. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium from the diet. If you do not ingest enough vitamin D, your body has hormones which will cause calcium to be withdrawn from the bone so that the amount of calcium in the blood remains normal. In people whose diet is very low in vitamin D and who do not ever go outside without sunscreen, this low vitamin D level can lead to osteoporosis. Even if I did not teach anatomy, I would know this because it happened to my husband. Even though men do not usually develop osteoporosis until their mid-70s, he was not even 65 when he developed severe osteoporosis.
Hope you don’t get kidney stones.
“I take 2000 mg per day and have been for years. I have heard some people take as much as 6000 mg per day.”
another widely held idea is taking Vitamin C to match bowel tolerance, which varies widely from person to person ... some people can take only a gram or two before the vitamin C induces diarrhea, yet for me, i’ve yet to find a dose that will induce diarrhea ...
no matter, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, so bowel tolerance aside, it would be hard to overdose, EXCEPT for folks with a rare genetic condition in which a key enzyme for metabolizing Vitamin c is deficient ...
This company makes ascorbic acid Vitamin C in Scotland.
More info on origin and quality of Vitamin C here:
Hard to find anything NOT MADE IN CHINA..................
In before the fake doctors and scientists who troll FR state that vitamins and natural immunity is never enough and that this is “not factually” accurate information from the post.
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