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Letters to Nature
Nature 221, 185 - 186 (11 January 1969); doi:10.1038/221185a0

Sex and Tissue Specific Differences in Concentrations of α-Tocopherol in Mature and Senescent Rats


Biochemistry Research Division, Department of Medicine, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, 21215.
*Present address: Cardiovascular Research Unit, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

A DIETARY deficiency of α-tocopherol (vitamin E) in the albino rat results in deposition in the adrenal glands of a fluorescent pigment which is morphologically indistinguishable from the lipofuscin which is characteristic of ageing, in both appearance and tissue localization1. Studies of the accumulation of lipofuscin in mature and senile male and female rats from the same colony have shown that there is a larger proportion of lipofuscin within the tissues of male rats2. In an effort to extend the correlation of the dietary study of adrenal pigmentation, concentrations of α-tocopherol were determined in tissues from mature and senile male and female rats from the same colony as before. This study has shown that there are sex and tissue specific differences in the concentrations of α-tocopherol in several tissues obtained from mature and senescent rats. Our observations corroborate earlier studies3 in which female rats were shown to possess larger concentrations of α-tocopherol in their tissues than male rats of the same age.



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