Vitamin C-induced loss of redox-dependent viability in lung microvascular endothelial cells

Saradhadevi Varadharaj, Tonya Watkins, Arturo J. Cardounel, Joe G.N. Garcia, Jay L. Zweier, Periannan Kuppusamy, Viswanathan Natarajan, Narasimham L. Parinandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Recent clinical trials have shown that vitamin C, at pharmacological concentrations (milligram to approximately gram), upon infusion into circulation, modulates vasodilation and vascular tone in humans. This also results in the elevated concentrations of vitamin C in circulation in the millimolar range. Here, it was hypothesized that vitamin C at pharmacological concentrations (millimolar) would induce oxidative stress and cause loss of redox-dependent cell viability in vascular endothelial cells (ECs). To test the hypothesis, bovine lung microvascular ECs (BLMVECs) in monolayer cultures were exposed to vitamin C (0-10 mM) for different time periods (0-2 h). Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed the intracellular formation of ascorbate free radical in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. Vitamin C also induced formation of intracellular reactive oxygen species in a dose-dependent fashion. It was observed that vitamin C induced morphological alterations and loss of cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent fashion, as measured by light microscopy and Alamar Blue redox cell viability assay, respectively. Vitamin C analogues failed to induce such changes. Vitamin C depleted cellular GSH levels in a dose-dependent fashion, suggesting that vitamin C altered thiol-redox status in BLMVECs. Antioxidants, intracellular iron chelator, and catalase protected cells against vitamin C-induced loss of redox-dependent cell viability, confirming the role of hydrogen peroxide and iron during redox cycling of vitamin C. These results, for the first time in detail, established that vitamin C at pharmacological doses induced oxidative stress and loss of redox-dependent cell viability in microvascular ECs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-300
Number of pages14
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Vitamin C-induced loss of redox-dependent viability in lung microvascular endothelial cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this