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Jee Yeong Jeong 1 Article
Effects of L-ascorbic acid on the production of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in C57BL/6 mouse splenocytes
Eun Hee Kong, Sun Young Ma, Jee Yeong Jeong, Kwang Hyuk Kim
Kosin Med J. 2015;30(1):41-49.   Published online January 20, 2015
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  • 16 Citations
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Abstract Objective

The imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines may underlie different pain states. Although ascorbic acid is the most important physiological antioxidant that affects host defense mechanisms and immune homeostasis, there is limited information on the effects of ascorbic acid on the production of cytokines.


In this study, we investigated the in vitro effect of L-ascorbic acid (AA) on the production of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines by stimulating C57BL/6 mouse splenocytes with the polyclonal activators lipopolysaccharide or concanavalin A.


AA significantly downregulated the expression of IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α at 48 h and 72 h in mouse splenocytes treated with a combination of polyclonal activators and AA. AA treatment also resulted in upregulation of IL-4 and IL-10 at 72 h. These findings demonstrated that AA significantly potentiated production of anti-inflammatory cytokines whereas there was an inverse association between AA and expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in mouse splenocytes.


AA may have potential applications in the reduction of inflammatory pain because of its function in modulating the production of cytokines. However, further in vivo investigations are necessary to elucidate the mechanisms involved.


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