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Original Article
Effects of L-ascorbic acid on the production of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in C57BL/6 mouse splenocytes
Eun Hee Kong1, Sun Young Ma2, Jee Yeong Jeong3, Kwang Hyuk Kim4
Kosin Medical Journal 2015;30(1):41-49.
Published online: January 20, 2015

1Department of Family Medicine, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea

2Department of Radiation oncology, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea

3Department of Biochemistry, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea

4Department of Microbiology, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea

Corresponding Author:Jee yeong Jeong, Department of Biochemistry, Kosin University College of Medicine 262, Gamcheon-ro, Seo-gu, Busan, South Korea (602-703) TEL: +82-51-990-6365 FAX: +82-51-990-3045 E-mail:
• Received: December 27, 2013   • Accepted: July 9, 2014

Copyright © 2015 Kosin University School of Medicine Proceedings

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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  • Objective
    The imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines may underlie different pain states. Although ascorbic acid is the most important physiological antioxidant that affects host defense mechanisms and immune homeostasis, there is limited information on the effects of ascorbic acid on the production of cytokines.
  • Methods
    In this study, we investigated the in vitro effect of L-ascorbic acid (AA) on the production of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines by stimulating C57BL/6 mouse splenocytes with the polyclonal activators lipopolysaccharide or concanavalin A.
  • Results
    AA significantly downregulated the expression of IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α at 48 h and 72 h in mouse splenocytes treated with a combination of polyclonal activators and AA. AA treatment also resulted in upregulation of IL-4 and IL-10 at 72 h. These findings demonstrated that AA significantly potentiated production of anti-inflammatory cytokines whereas there was an inverse association between AA and expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in mouse splenocytes.
  • Conclusion
    AA may have potential applications in the reduction of inflammatory pain because of its function in modulating the production of cytokines. However, further in vivo investigations are necessary to elucidate the mechanisms involved.
Fig. 1.
Effects of L-ascorbic acid on the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in mouse splenocytes
Fig. 2.
Effects of L-ascorbic acid on the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines in mouse splenocytes
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      Effects of L-ascorbic acid on the production of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in C57BL/6 mouse splenocytes
      Kosin Med J. 2015;30(1):41-49.   Published online January 20, 2015
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