The distribution of ascorbic acid between various cellular components of blood, in normal individuals, and its relation to the plasma concentration
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 June 2009
1. A study was undertaken to investigate the distribution of ascorbic acid between various cellular components of blood, in normal individuals, and its relation to the plasma concentration. Forty-one unsupplemented individuals and sixteen supplemented (2 g/d for 5 d) individuals were studied.
2. Granulocytes, mononuclear leucocytes, platelets and erythrocytes were separated by differential sedimentation and centrifugation. Ascorbic acid contents were measured by the dinitrophenylhydrazine method.
3. Ascorbic acid content per cel was higher in mononuclear leucocytes and granulocytes than in platelets and erythrocytes. Intracellular ascorbic acid concentrations, calculated from published values for cell volumes, when compared with the plasma concentration showed a marked ability to concentrate ascorbic acid in mononuclear leucocytes (80 times), platelets (40 times) and granulocytes (25 times).
4. Erythrocytes showed little ability to concentrate ascorbic acid over the normal range of plasma concentration but because of their relative numbers they and the plasma fraction accounted for most of the blood-borne ascorbic acid (> 70%).
5. The ascorbic acid content of granulocytes, platelets and erylhrocytes showed a significant positive correlation with the plasma concentration and supplementation with ascorbic acid significantly increased the content of these cell types. Mononuclear leucocytes in contrast did not show any such relationship.
6. The ability of the mononuclear leucocytes to maintain the highest levels of ascorbic acid in the cell types studied, despite variation in plasma availability, warrants further study, particularly in view of the importance of these cells in immunocompetence.
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