The development of atherosclerosis is a multifactorial process in which both elevated plasma cholesterol levels and proliferation of smooth muscle cells play a central role. Numerous studies have suggested the involvement of oxidative processes in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and especially of oxidized low density lipoprotein. Some epidemiological studies have shown an association between high dietary intake and high serum concentrations of vitamin E and lower rates of ischemic heart disease. Cell culture studies have shown that alpha-tocopherol brings about inhibition of smooth muscle cell proliferation. This takes place via inhibition of protein kinase C activity. alpha-Tocopherol also inhibits low density lipoprotein induced smooth muscle cell proliferation and protein kinase C activity. The following animal studies showed that vitamin E protects development of cholesterol induced atherosclerosis by inhibiting protein kinase C activity in smooth muscle cells in vivo.