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Infectious Diseases

Vitamin A supplementation improves macrophage function and bacterial clearance during experimental salmonella infection.

Hatchigian EA; Santos JI; Broitman SA; Vitale JJ
Proceddings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine 1989 May;191(1):47-54

The effects of additional but nontoxic amounts of vitamin A on susceptibility to salmonella infection was studied by comparing rates of bacterial clearance and phagocytosis. Forty-eight male Lewis rats were divided into a treatment group receiving a total of 6000 units of vitamin A palmitate weekly for 5 weeks and a control group was given an equal volume of saline. After completion of the treatment regimen, one-half from each group were infected intraperitoneally with 10(5) Salmonella typhimurium; the other half received intraperitoneal injection of saline. At this time no differences in weight gain were noted and all animals were sacrificed within 2 weeks. At 72 hr after bacterial challenge, all saline-treated control animals displayed bacteremia. Cultures of liver and splenic homogenates were positive in 89 and 100% of infected control animals vs 0 and 44% for treated animals during the first week of infection. Kupffer cell, peritoneal, and splenic macrophages of the vitamin A-treated group had greater phagocytic activity than controls as assessed by the percentage of cells ingesting yeast particles and by the number of particles ingested (phagocytic index). These results suggest that vitamin A in moderate amounts may benefit the host's response to infection by enhancing phagocytic cell function.

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