Adaptation of the phosphotungstate method for the determination of vitamin C contents in animal and human tissues.
ABSTRACT The usefulness of phosphotungstate reagent for vitamin C determination in tissue homogenates has been confirmed. An optimal homogenization medium was selected: 1.8 M solution of HPO3 in 1.3 M CH3COOH. With this medium the analytical curve (at 700 nm) demonstrated the right linearity, correlation and recovery coefficients were appropriately high (0.999 and 99.8%) and the values of intraserial and interserial variation coefficient were low (< 5% and < 10%, respectively). It makes this method sensitive, easily repeatable, and useful for vitamin C determination in animal and human tissues, including neoplastic ones.
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ABSTRACT: Spodniewska A., A. Zasadowski: Content of Glutathione and Vitamin C in the Liver of Rats Exposed to Dimethoate and Pyrantel Tartrate. Acta Vet. Brno 2008, 77: 355-362. The study was undertaken to examine the effect of oral administration of dimethoate (Bi 58 Nowy) and/or pyrantel tartrate on the concentration of glutathione (GSH) and vitamin C in rat liver. Rats of Group I were administered pyrantel tartrate at a dose of 85 mg/kg b.w. at a two- week interval, while the animals of Group II received Bi 58 Nowy (38% dimethoate) at a dose of 25 mg/kg b.w. for 28 days, and animals of Group III received both compounds together as described above. Pyrantel tartrate was found to increase the concentration of glutathione in the liver, whereas the content of vitamin C oscillated around values reported for the control. After a 28-day exposure to dimethoate (Bi 58 Nowy), except for the 6th hour after intoxication, the content of GSH was observed to increase and significant differences (p ≤ 0.05) occurred after days 3 and 14 (p ≤ 0.01). The concentration of vitamin C in liver homogenates after dimethoate administration was decreased compared to the control until day 3. An increase was then observed continuing until the end of the experiment. In animals receiving both compounds, except for day 7, the concentration of vitamin C was slightly decreased. The administration of pyrantel tartrate before dimethoate (Bi 58 Nowy) only in some time intervals was found to reduce the intensity of changes evoked by the exclusive administration of insecticide. It may suggest that not in all cases of mixed intoxications, intensification should be expected in changes of the variables analyzed. Dimethoate, pyrantel tartrate, glutathione, vitamin C, ratActa Veterinaria Brno - ACTA VET BRNO. 01/2008; 77(3):355-362.
Adaptation of the Phosphotungstate Method for the Determination of Vitamin C
Contents in Animal and Human Tissues
Maciej Rutkowskia*, Krzysztof Grzegorczykband Janusz Gregerc
aDepartment of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Institute of Basic Sciences, Military Medical
University, Pl. J. Hallera 1, 90-647 Ło ´dz ´, Poland. Fax: (04842) 6331113.
bDepartment of Gastroenterology, Institute of Internal Medicine, Military Medical
University, Pl. J. Hallera 1, 90-647 Ło ´dz ´, Poland
cDepartment of Medical Biochemistry, Institute of Physiology and Biochemistry, Medical
University of Ło ´dz ´, Lindleya 6, 90-131 Ło ´dz ´, Poland
* Author for correspondence and reprint requests
Z. Naturforsch. 57c, 1062Ð1065 (2002); received July 4/August 6, 2002
Vitamin C Determination, Tissues Ð Animal and Human, Phosphotungstate Method
The usefulness of phosphotungstate reagent for vitamin C determination in tissue homoge-
nates has been confirmed. An optimal homogenization medium was selected: 1.8 m solution
of HPO3in 1.3 m CH3COOH. With this medium the analytical curve (at 700 nm) demon-
strated the right linearity, correlation and recovery coefficients were appropriately high
(0.999 and 99.8%) and the values of intraserial and interserial variation coefficient were low
(< 5% and < 10%, respectively). It makes this method sensitive, easily repeatable, and useful
for vitamin C determination in animal and human tissues, including neoplastic ones.
In natural and medical studies there is some-
times need for determination in tissues of contents
of vitamin C Ð an important hydrophilic antioxi-
dant (Yew, 1983; Mezzetti et al., 1995; Henning et
al., 1997; El Bassiouni et al., 1998; Fournier et al.,
2000). However, it is sensitive to oxygen, increased
temperature, low and high pH and heavy metals
ions (Bode, 1997; Rutkowski and Grzegorczyk,
1999). Its determination in tissues is confronted
with many difficulties and descriptions of deter-
minations, related even to the same types of tis-
sues differ significantly as regards the composition
of media used for their homogenization or the em-
ployed analytical methods (Omaye et al., 1979;
Carr et al., 1983; Washko et al., 1992; Oliveira and
Watson, 2001). Data on vitamin C contents in hu-
man tissues in case of various diseases are there-
fore rarely found in literature.
In our study on the role of vitamin C in colonic
oncogenesis, vitamin C was determined in the re-
Abbreviations: A, absorbance; AA, ascorbic acid;
AcOH, acetic acid; C. C., correlation coefficient; C. V.,
variation coefficient; MAA, molar mass of AA; MPA,
metaphosphoric acid; PTR, phosphotungstate reagent;
R. F., recovery factor.
0939Ð5075/2002/1100Ð1062 $ 06.00
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moved tumours with the use of our own phospho-
tungstate method (Rutkowski and Grzegorczyk,
1998) originally designed for the determination of
this vitamin in plasma.
Material and Methods
High purity AA (C6H8O6) “ACS Reagent”
(Sigma, St. Louis, U. S. A.) and 40Ð44% MPA
(HPO3)(Riedel de Hae ¨n, Seelze, Germany) were
used in the studies. Other reagents were of analyti-
In the I and II stage of the studies homogeniza-
tion media were used of composition as in Ta-
ble II. To prepare the medium for human tissue
homogenization, about 36 g of MPA were dis-
solved in about 60 ml 1.3 m AcOH (CH3COOH).
The solution was filtered through a paper filter
into the 100 ml volumetric flask and filled up with
1.3 m AcOH. The medium is durable for 2 weeks
when stored at + 4 ∞C. Vitamin C was determined
with PTR made according to an earlier description
(Rutkowski and Grzegorczyk, 1998) from sodium
M. Rutkowski et al. · Vitamin C Determination in Animal and Human Tissue1063
tungstate (Na2WO4·2H2O), sodium hydrophos-
phate (Na2HPO4) and 3.7 m sulfuric acid (H2SO4).
Vitamin C standard solution of 56.8 µmol/l con-
centration was obtained from AA using ten times
diluted homogenizing medium as a solvent in the
given stage of studies (the medium selected for
human tissue was diluted with 1.3 m AcOH).
Tissues used for the investigation
During I and II stage of the study animal muscu-
lar tissue was homogenized with the addition of
AA (inner pattern) given below. It played the role
of a model of human tissue. In optimal conditions
(stage III) surgically obtained colonic adenocarci-
nomas as well as samples of healthy part of this
colon were homogenized. The obtained samples
were stored at Ð 80 ∞C and subjected to homoge-
nization and vitamin C determination within a
Homogenization of tissues
Samples of animal tissue (4 g of each) with
added 11.36 µmol (2 mg) AA were homogenized
as the human tissue but in 4 times larger volumet-
ric scale applying successive investigated homoge-
nization media. 25% Homogenates (v/w) were ob-
As for the human tissue homogenate, the pro-
cedure was the following: the tissue was defreezed,
dried with filter paper, chopped and a sample of
1 g was weighted (with accuracy of 0.001 g), then
homogenized for 2Ð3 min with in a glass homoge-
nizer in 2.5 ml of the earlier described medium,
cooled with water and ice. The homogenate was
transferred quantitatively into a volumetric flask
of 25 ml capacity, filled up with 1.3 m AcOH and
after stirring it was transferred into centrifugation
tube which was kept for 20 min at + 4 ∞C to isolate
lipid layer and then stirred at + 4 ∞C (1500 ¥ g,
15 min) and the supernatant was filtered through
the filter paper.
Diluting of homogenates to the analytical curves
Out of the homogenates made in I and II stage
of the study 25 ml of each sample were left and the
rest was diluted 2-, 4- and 8-fold with the medium
appropriate for the given homogenate. A series of
standard homogenates made with particular media
with added AA concentrations: 14.2; 28.4; 56.8 and
113.6 µmol/l were obtained in this way.
Procedure of vitamin C determination
1.5 ml of filtered supernatant was placed into a
centrifugation tube, 1.5 ml of PTR was added with
stirring and after 30 min the fluid from above the
sediment called “tested sample” was centrifuged
(3500 ¥ g, 10 min). Absorbance A700of this sample
and of standard vitamin C solution subjected to
the same procedure (without centrifugation) was
measured at 700 nm, using as the reference, the
mixture 1:1 (v/v) of PTR and the solvent applied
to prepare the standard solution.
Initially, the vitamin C concentration in tissue
homogenate was calculated according to the for-
where: cvit.C-concentration of vitamin C in ho-
mogenate, Atest.-absorbance of the tested sample,
Astand.-absorbance of standard solution, cstand.-con-
centration of standard solution. The obtained re-
sult was used to calculate vitamin C contents in
the investigated tissue according to the formula:
contents of vitamin C [µg/g] =cvit.C
where: m-weight mass of the investigated tissue
[g], 4.4-coefficient resulting from the mathematical
relation between constant elements of the calcula-
tions explained below.
Since 1 mg AA = 5.68 µmol (MAA= 176.12 g/
mol), then dividing cvit.Cby 5.68 µmol/l changes
into mg/l, which divided by 40 (quotient of defini-
tion volume 1000 ml for molar concentration and
the volume of 25 ml homogenates) gives the
amount of vitamin in 25 ml of tissue homogenate
of mass m. Dividing the result by m, the contents
of vitamin C in the investigated tissue is obtained
in mg/g, which multiplied by 1000 changes into
µg/g. A sequence of operations results from that:
cvit.C·1000/5.68·40·m, in which the quantity 1000/
5.68·40 is constant and equals 4.4, being the coeffi-
cient in formula (2).
1064 M. Rutkowski et al. · Vitamin C Determination in Animal and Human Tissue
The study on the application of our own phos-
photungstate method (Rutkowski and Grzegor-
czyk, 1998) for vitamin C determination in tissues
consisted of three stages. In stage I the usefulness
of PTR in such analyses was investigated. Obtain-
ing positive results allowed to select, in stage II,
the composition of homogenization medium en-
suring the transfer of total vitamin C from tissues
to homogenates and maintain its stability in them.
In stage III the vitamin was determined according
to the method worked out in human tissues sam-
PTR usefulness in vitamin C determination in
A series of standard vitamin C solutions (de-
scribed in “Diluting of homogenates ...”) was
prepared in water homogenate of animal muscular
tissue with the addition of AA (acc. to “Homoge-
nization of tissues”). The use of water as homoge-
nization medium was meant to eliminate possible
Fig. 1. Analytical curves for vitamin C determinations in
tissue homogenates performed in the selected homoge-
The composition of individual homogenizing media
IÐVI was specified in Table I. Numbers in brackets are
C. C. values of particular curves. Values of A determine
means from 3 measurements of samples subjected to
analytical procedure described in “Materials and Meth-
ods” (the participation of endogenous vitamin C was
PTR reaction with components from other media.
The solutions were subjected to procedures acc. to
“Procedure of vitamin C determination” (during
A700measurements the participation of endoge-
nous vitamin C was subtracted), and on the basis
of mean A700values from 3 measurements an ana-
lytical curve was drawn (Fig. 1-II). Its character
enabled recognizing PTR to be useful in vitamin
C determination in homogenates. The curve was
linear and passed through point 0 of A,c coordi-
nate system, and the value of C. C. = 0.994 proved
a high accuracy of the determination.
Selection of optimal homogenization medium
The study comprised MPA solutions given in
Table I and, for comparison, 0.15 m solution of
NaCl. According to the accepted procedure, in
each of these media the same animal muscular tis-
sue samples were homogenized with the addition
of AA, and diluting the homogenates with the me-
dia used for their preparation, earlier described
series of standard solutions were prepared. Sub-
jecting them to analytical procedures the same as
above, on the basis of mean A700values from 3
measurements analytical curves related to particu-
lar investigated media were drawn (Fig. 1), and
C. C. values were calculated.
Table I. Determined and standard A values and R. F.
coefficients of tissue homogenates of vitamin C concen-
tration 56.8 µmol/l prepared in homogenizing media
used in investigations.
Type of homogenizing medium
Astand. R. F. [%]
I: 0.15 m NaCl
III: 1.8 m MPA
IV: 0.4m MPA in 5.0 m AcOH
V: 0.4 m MPA in 1.3 m AcOH
VI: 1.8 m MPA in 1.3 m AcOH
Measurements of A (700 nm) were carried out in the sam-
ples subjected to analytical procedure described in
“Material and Methods” (the participation of endogenous
vitamin C was subtracted). Adeter.values (means from 3
determinations) refer to homogenates of about 4 g of ani-
mal muscular tissue with the addition of 2 mg of AA of
dilution corresponding to the mentioned concentration.
Astand.values (means from 3 determinations) refer to stan-
dard solutions of AA of the concentration 56.8 µmol/l pre-
pared in successive media used for tissue homogenizing.
R. F. coefficients were calculated as proportions Adeter.:
Astand.for each medium.
M. Rutkowski et al. · Vitamin C Determination in Animal and Human Tissue1065
R. F. valueobtained withthe use ofeach medium
was calculated taking into consideration the con-
gated concentration range AA. For this purpose in
all media AA solutions of this concentration were
made and subjected to the accepted, analytical pro-
cedure and the mean values A700were calculated
from 3 measurements determined as Astand.. Taking
the homogenates dilutions of vitamin C concentra-
tion of C 56.8 µmol/l Ð here determined as Adeter.,
R. F. [%] value was calculated for each medium as
the ratio Adeter.: Astand.(Table I).
The best results were obtained for 1.8 m of MPA
solution in 1.3 m AcOH: the largest inclination an-
gle of the analytical curve, C. C. = 0.999, R. F. =
99.9%. Repeatability was investigated using ho-
mogenate prepared in this medium of vitamin C
concentration 56.8 µmol/l stored for 5 days at
Ð 80 ∞C. Intraserial C. V. calculated on the basis of
mean concentration (n = 10) determined every day
was < 5%. Every day means (n = 5) were used to
calculate interserial C. V., which was < 10%.
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Vitamin C determination in human tissue
Twenty samples were investigated in which the
vitamin C concentration (µg/g of tissue) was the
a) colonic adenocarcinoma (n = 10)
contents of vitamin Cmin.= 77; contents of
vitamin Cmax. = 107; contents of vitamin
Cmean= 90.8 ð 3.72
b) healthy (normal) colon (n = 10)
contents of vitamin Cmin.= 32; contents of
vitamin Cmax. = 55; contents of vitamin
Cmean= 44.5 ð 2.36
A higher content of vitamin C in neoplastic tis-
sue in comparison with healthy tissue corresponds
with the literature data (Krasner and Dymock,
1974; Anthony and Schorah, 1982).
Present work has been supported by the Mili-
tary Medical University internal grant No. BW/