Vitamin C (ascorbate, ASC) is a critical antioxidant in the body with specific roles in the brain. Despite a recent interest in vitamin C therapies for critical care medicine, little is known about vitamin C regulation during acute inflammation and critical illnesses such as sepsis. Using a cecal slurry (CS) model of sepsis in mice, we determined ASC and inflammatory changes in the brain following the initial treatment. ASC levels in the brain were acutely decreased by approximately 10% at 4 and 24 h post CS treatment. Changes were accompanied by a robust increase in liver ASC levels of up to 50%, indicating upregulation of synthesis beginning at 4 h and persisting up to 7 days post CS treatment. Several key cytokines interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1, KC/Gro) were also significantly elevated in the cortex at 4 h post CS treatment, although these levels returned to normal by 48 h. These data strongly suggest that ASC reserves are directly challenged throughout illness and recovery from sepsis. Given the timescale of this response, decreases in cortical ASC are likely driven by hyper-acute neuroinflammatory processes. However, future studies are required to confirm this relationship and to investigate how this deficiency may subsequently impact neuroinflammation.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited