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Effects of vitamin C, vitamin E, and molecular hydrogen on the placental function in trophoblast cells



This study aimed to investigate the effects of three different antioxidants, namely vitamin C, vitamin E, and molecular hydrogen, on cytotrophoblasts in vitro.


Two trophoblast cell lines, JAR and JEG-3, were exposed to different concentrations of vitamin C (0, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000 μmol/L), vitamin E (0, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000 μmol/L), and molecular hydrogen (0, 25, 50, 100, 500 μmol/L) for 48 h. The cell viability was detected using the MTS assay. The secretion of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were assessed and the expression of TNF-α mRNA was observed by real-time RT-PCR.


Cell viability was significantly suppressed by 500 μmol/L vitamins C and E (P < 0.05), but not by 500 μmol/L molecular hydrogen (P > 0.05). The expression of TNF-α was increased by 100 μmol/L vitamin C and 50 μmol/L vitamins E, separately or combined (P < 0.05), but not by molecular hydrogen (0–500 μmol/L), as validated by real-time RT-PCR. But the secretion of hCG was both inhibited by 50–500 μmol/L molecular hydrogen and high levels of vitamin C and E, separately or combined.


High levels of antioxidant vitamins C and E may have significant detrimental effects on placental function, as reflected by decreased cell viability and secretion of hCG; and placental immunity, as reflected by increased production of TNF-a. Meanwhile hydrogen showed no such effects on cell proliferation and TNF-α expression, but it could affect the level of hCG, indicating hydrogen as a potential candidate of antioxidant in the management of preeclampsia (PE) should be further studied.

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This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81300500 to Xiang Yang).

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Correspondence to Xiang Yang.

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Guan, Z., Li, H., Guo, L. et al. Effects of vitamin C, vitamin E, and molecular hydrogen on the placental function in trophoblast cells. Arch Gynecol Obstet 292, 337–342 (2015).

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  • Antioxidant
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • hCG
  • Hydrogen
  • Pregnancy
  • Placenta
  • Preeclampsia
  • TNF-a
  • Cell viability