• Sadia Moazzam
  • M. Mazhar Hussain
  • Shemaila Saleem


Background: The immune system provides protection against infectious diseases or other insults.Psychological stress may alter antibody production through neurobiological pathways. Antioxidantsupplementation is thought to improve immune status and thereby reduce infectious morbidity. The aimof this study was to determine the preventive effect of ascorbic acid and alpha tocopherol on immunestatus of rats exposed to chronic restraint stress. Methods: A total of 150 healthy male Sprague Dawleyrats were included in the study. They were divided into 5 groups, each comprised of 30 rats. Group Iwas the control group on normal diet. Group II rats were exposed to chronic restraint stress for 6 hoursdaily for 15 days, without antioxidant supplementation, whereas rats of groups III, IV and V weregiven supplementation of ascorbic acid or alpha tocopherol or both respectively, for one month prior toexposure of rats to chronic restraint stress. Total leukocyte count (TLC) and lymphocyte counts wasdone, and serum immuno-globulins (IgG, IgA, IgM, and IgE) levels were estimated using ELISA.Results: Total leukocyte and lymphocyte counts and serum IgA, IgE, IgG, and IgM levels were foundsignificantly (p˂0.001) decreased in rats exposed to chronic restraint stress compared to the rats notexposed to the restraint stress. The combined supplementation of ascorbic acid and alpha tocopherolsignificantly (p˂0.001) prevented the decline in total leukocyte and lymphocyte counts and serumimmuno-globulins compared to the administration of either of the two antioxidants. Conclusion:Antioxidants (ascorbic acid and alpha tocopherol) given in combination produce greater beneficialeffect in improving the immune status of rats exposed to chronic stress than individual supplementationof either ascorbic acid or alpha tocopherol.Keywords: Stress, immune status, immuno-globulins, antioxidants, ascorbic acid, alpha tocopherol


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