Cellular, molecular and clinical aspects of vitamin E on atherosclerosis prevention

Adelina Munteanu, Jean Marc Zingg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Randomised clinical trials and epidemiologic studies addressing the preventive effects of vitamin E supplementation against cardiovascular disease reported both positive and negative effects, and recent meta-analyses of the clinical studies were rather disappointing. In contrast to that, many animal studies clearly show a preventive action of vitamin E in several experimental settings, which can be explained by the molecular and cellular effects of vitamin E observed in cell cultures. This review is focusing on the molecular effects of vitamin E on the cells playing a role during atherosclerosis, in particular on the endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, monocytes/macrophages, T cells, and mast cells. Vitamin E may act by normalizing aberrant signal transduction and gene expression in antioxidant and non-antioxidant manners; in particular, over-expression of scavenger receptors and consequent foam cell formation can be prevented by vitamin E. In addition to that, the cellular effects of α-tocopheryl phosphate and of EPC-K1, a composite molecule between α-tocopheryl phosphate and l-ascorbic acid, are summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-590
Number of pages53
JournalMolecular Aspects of Medicine
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal studies
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Endothelial cells
  • EPC-K1
  • Epidemiological studies
  • Gene expression
  • Macrophages
  • Mast cells
  • Monocytes
  • Scavenger receptors
  • Signal transduction
  • T cells
  • Tocopherol
  • Tocopheryl phosphate
  • Tocotrienol
  • Vascular smooth muscle cells
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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