, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 359-367

Transport of vitamin C in animal and human cells

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The transport systems of animal and human tissues for vitamin C are reviewed with respect to their properties. It emerges that pure diffusion plays only a very minor role, while a variety of more or less specific transporters is found on cellular membranes. Although most tissues prefer the reduced ascorbate over the oxidized dehydroascorbic acid and have high-affinity transporters for it, there are several examples for the reversed situation. Special attention is given to similarity or identity with glucose transporters, especially the GLUT-1 and the sodium-dependent intestinal and renal transporters, and to the very widespread dependence of ascorbate transport on sodium ions. The significance of ascorbate transport for vitamin C-requiring and nonrequiring species as well as alterations in states of disease can be seen from ample experimental evidence.