Vitamin E prevents oxidative modification of brain and lymphocyte band 3 proteins during aging

Jeff E. Poulin, Cathleen Cover, Monica R. Gustafson, Marguerite M.B. Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Antioxidants may play an important role in preventing free radical damage associated with aging by interfering directly in the generation of radicals or by scavenging them. We investigated the effects of a high vitamin E and/or a high β-carotene diet on aging of the anion transporter, band 3, in lymphocytes and brain. The band 3 proteins function as anion transporters, acid base regulators, CO2 transporters, and structural proteins that provide a framework for membrane lipids and that link the plasma membrane to the cytoskeleton. Senescent cell antigen (SCA), which terminates the life of cells, is a degradation product of band 3. This study was conducted as a double-blind study in which eight groups of middle-aged or old mice received either high levels of β-carotene and/or vitamin E or standard levels of these supplements in their diets. Anion transport kinetic assays were performed on isolated splenic lymphocytes. Immunoreactivity of an antibody that recognizes aging changes in old band 3 preceding generation of SCA was used to quantitate aged band 3 in brain tissue. Results indicate that vitamin E prevented the observed age-related decline in anion transport by lymphocytes and the generation of aged band 3 leading to SCA formation. β- Carotene had no significant effect on the results of either assay. Since increased aged band 3 and decreased anion transport are initial steps in band 3 aging, which culminates in the generation of SCA and cellular removal, vitamin E prevents or delays aging of band 3-related proteins in lymphocytes and brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5600-5603
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 28 1996


  • anion transport
  • antioxidants
  • senescent cell antigen
  • β-carotene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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