Greenteahaus:  The Green Tea Reference Library

Green tea is a COX-2 inhibitor and anti-inflammatory; it modulates normal immune system

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(1) Varilek GW, Yang F, Lee EY, deVilliers WJ, Zhong J, Oz HS, Westberry KF, McClain CJ. Green tea polyphenol extract attenuates inflammation in interleukin-2-deficient mice, a model of autoimmunity. J Nutr. 2001 Jul;131(7):2034-9.

Green tea polyphenols (GrTP) have been previously shown to decrease endotoxin-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha production and lethality in mice. Our present studies demonstrate that GrTP inhibit inflammatory responses and may be useful in treating chronic inflammatory states, such as inflammatory bowel disease. In this preliminary study, we examined whether GrTP decrease disease activity in interleukin-2-deficient (IL-2(-/-) mice. Eight-week old IL-2(-/-) C57BL/6J mice who were fed nonpurified diet were randomly assigned to receive water with GrTP (5 g/L) or water alone (control) for up to 6 wk. After 1 wk, explant colon and lamina propria lymphocyte (LPL) cultures were established from a subgroup of mice and supernatants collected. Culture supernatants from GrTP-treated mice showed decreased spontaneous interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha secretion compared with that of controls. At 6 wk, the GrTP group had less severe colitis as demonstrated by lower histologic scores and wet colon weights. This was associated with lower plasma levels of serum amyloid A, increased weight gain and improved hematocrits. These results show that GrTP attenuated inflammation in IL-2(-/-) mice and suggest a role for GrTP in treating chronic inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease.

(2) Dona M, Dell'Aica I, Calabrese F, Benelli R, Morini M, Albini A, Garbisa S.

Neutrophil restraint by green tea: inhibition of inflammation, associated angiogenesis, and pulmonary fibrosis. J Immunol. 2003 Apr 15;170(8):4335-41.

Neutrophils play an essential role in host defense and inflammation, but the latter may trigger and sustain the pathogenesis of a range of acute and chronic diseases. Green tea has been claimed to exert anti-inflammatory properties through unknown molecular mechanisms. We have previously shown that the most abundant catechin of green tea, (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), strongly inhibits neutrophil elastase. Here we show that 1) micromolar EGCG represses reactive oxygen species activity and inhibits apoptosis of activated neutrophils, and 2) dramatically inhibits chemokine-induced neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro; 3) both oral EGCG and green tea extract block neutrophil-mediated angiogenesis in vivo in an inflammatory angiogenesis model, and 4) oral administration of green tea extract enhances resolution in a pulmonary inflammation model, significantly reducing consequent fibrosis. These results provide molecular and cellular insights into the claimed beneficial properties of green tea and indicate that EGCG is a potent anti-inflammatory compound with therapeutic potential.

(3) Katiyar SK, Mukhtar H. Green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate treatment to mouse skin prevents UVB-induced infiltration of leukocytes, depletion of antigen-presenting cells, and oxidative stress. J Leukoc Biol. 2001 May;69(5):719-26.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation-induced infiltrating leukocytes, depletion of antigen-presenting cells, and oxidative stress in the skin play an important role in the induction of immune suppression and photocarcinogenesis. Earlier we have shown that topical application of polyphenols from green tea or its major chemopreventive constituent (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) prevents UV-B-induced immunosuppression in mice. To define the mechanism of prevention, we found that topical application of EGCG (3 mg/mouse/3 cm(2) of skin area) to C3H/HeN mice before a single dose of UV-B (90 mJ/cm(2)) exposure inhibited UV-B-induced infiltration of leukocytes, specifically the CD11b+ cell type, and myeloperoxidase activity, a marker of tissue infiltration of leukocytes. EGCG treatment was also found to prevent UV-B-induced depletion in the number of antigen-presenting cells when immunohistochemically detected as class II MHC+ Ia+ cells. UV-B-induced infiltrating cell production of H2O2 and nitric oxide (NO) was determined as a marker of oxidative stress. We found that pretreatment of EGCG decreased the number of UV-B-induced increases in H2O2-producing cells and inducible nitric oxide synthase-expressing cells and the production of H2O2 and NO in both epidermis and dermis at a UV-B-irradiated site. Together, these data suggest that prevention of UV-B-induced infiltrating leukocytes, antigen-presenting cells, and oxidative stress by EGCG treatment of mouse skin may be associated with the prevention of UV-B-induced immunosuppression and photocarcinogenesis.

(4) Katiyar SK, Bergamo BM, Vyalil PK, Elmets CA. Green tea polyphenols: DNA photodamage and photoimmunology. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2001 Dec 31;65(2-3):109-14.

Green tea is a popular beverage consumed worldwide. The epicatechin derivatives, which are commonly called 'polyphenols', are the active ingredients in green tea and possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Studies conducted by our group on human skin have demonstrated that green tea polyphenols (GTP) prevent ultraviolet (UV)-B-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD), which are considered to be mediators of UVB-induced immune suppression and skin cancer induction. GTP treated human skin prevented penetration of UV radiation, which was demonstrated by the absence of immunostaining for CPD in the reticular dermis. The topical application of GTP or its most potent chemopreventive constituent (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) prior to exposure to UVB protects against UVB-induced local as well as systemic immune suppression in laboratory animals. Additionally, studies have shown that EGCG treatment of mouse skin inhibits UVB-induced infiltration of CD11b+ cells. CD11b is a cell surface marker for activated macrophages and neutrophils, which are associated with induction of UVB-induced suppression of contact hypersensitivity responses. EGCG treatment also results in reduction of the UVB-induced immunoregulatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 in skin as well as in draining lymph nodes, and an elevated amount of IL-12 in draining lymph nodes. These in vivo observations suggest that GTPs are photoprotective, and can be used as pharmacological agents for the prevention of solar UVB light-induced skin disorders associated with immune suppression and DNA damage.

(5) Sueoka N, Suganuma M, Sueoka E, Okabe S, Matsuyama S, Imai K, Nakachi K, Fujiki H. A new function of green tea: prevention of lifestyle-related diseases. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Apr;928:274-80.

In the normal human life span, there occur lifestyle-related diseases that may be preventable with nontoxic agents. This paper deals with the preventive activity of green tea in some lifestyle-related diseases. Green tea is one of the most practical cancer preventives, as we have shown in various in vitro and in vivo experiments, along with epidemiological studies. Among various biological effects of green tea, we have focused on its inhibitory effect on TNF-alpha gene expression mediated through inhibition of NF-kappaB and AP-1 activation. Based on our recent results with TNF-alpha-deficient mice, TNF-alpha is an endogenous tumor promoter. TNF-alpha is also known to be a central mediator in chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. We therefore hypothesized that green tea might be a preventive agent for chronic inflammatory diseases. To test this hypothesis, TNF-alpha transgenic mice, which overexpress TNF-alpha only in the lungs, were examined. The TNF-alpha transgenic mouse is an animal model of human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis which also frequently develops lung cancer. Expressions of TNF-alpha and IL-6 were inhibited in the lungs of these mice after treatment with green tea in drinking water for 4 months. In addition, judging from the results of a prospective cohort study in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, green tea helps to prevent cardiovascular disease. In this study, a decreased relative risk of death from cardiovascular disease was found for people consuming over 10 cups of green tea a day, and green tea also had life-prolonging effects on cumulative survival. These data suggest that green tea has preventive effects on both chronic inflammatory diseases and lifestyle-related diseases (including cardiovascular disease and cancer), resulting in prolongation of life span.

(6) Drinking green tea protects laboratory mice against arthritis by inhibiting COX-2 and other inflammatory mechanisms. Haqqi TM, Anthony DD, Gupta S, Ahmad N, Lee MS, Kumar GK, Mukhtar H. Prevention of collagen-induced arthritis in mice by a polyphenolic fraction from green tea. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Apr 13;96(8):4524-9.

Identification of common dietary substances capable of affording protection or modulating the onset and severity of arthritis may have important human health implications. An antioxidant-rich polyphenolic fraction isolated from green tea (green tea polyphenols, GTPs) has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties in experimental animals. In this study we determined the effect of oral consumption of GTP on collagen-induced arthritis in mice. In three independent experiments mice given GTP in water exhibited significantly reduced incidence of arthritis (33% to 50%) as compared with mice not given GTP in water (84% to 100%). The arthritis index also was significantly lower in GTP-fed animals. Western blot analysis showed a marked reduction in the expression of inflammatory mediators such as cyclooxygenase 2, IFN-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor alpha in arthritic joints of GTP-fed mice. Histologic and immunohistochemical analysis of the arthritic joints in GTP-fed mice demonstrated only marginal joint infiltration by IFN-gamma and tumor necrosis factor alpha-producing cells as opposed to massive cellular infiltration and fully developed pannus in arthritic joints of non-GTP-fed mice. The neutral endopeptidase activity was approximately 7-fold higher in arthritic joints of non-GTP-fed mice in comparison to nonarthritic joints of unimmunized mice whereas it was only 2-fold higher in the arthritic joints of GTP-fed mice. Additionally, total IgG and type II collagen-specific IgG levels were lower in serum and arthritic joints of GTP-fed mice. Taken together our studies suggest that a polyphenolic fraction from green tea that is rich in antioxidants may be useful in the prevention of onset and severity of arthritis.

(7) Green tea EGCG inhibits expression of COX-2 and iNOS of human chondrocytes and may have therapeutic value in osteoarthritis. Ahmed S, Rahman A, Hasnain A, Lalonde M, Goldberg VM, Haqqi TM. Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits the IL-1 beta-induced activity and expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and nitric oxide synthase-2 in human chondrocytes. Free Radic Biol Med. 2002 Oct 15;33(8):1097-105.

We have previously shown that green tea polyphenols inhibit the onset and severity of collagen II-induced arthritis in mice. In the present study, we report the pharmacological effects of green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), on interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta)-induced expression and activity of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in human chondrocytes derived from osteoarthritis (OA) cartilage. Stimulation of human chondrocytes with IL-1 beta (5 ng/ml) for 24 h resulted in significantly enhanced production of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) when compared to untreated controls (p <.001). Pretreament of human chondrocytes with EGCG showed a dose-dependent inhibition in the production of NO and PGE(2) by 48% and 24%, respectively, and correlated with the inhibition of iNOS and COX-2 activities (p <.005). In addition, IL-1 beta-induced expression of iNOS and COX-2 was also markedly inhibited in human chondrocytes pretreated with EGCG (p <.001). Parallel to these findings, EGCG also inhibited the IL-1 beta-induced LDH release in chondrocytes cultures. Overall, the study suggests that EGCG affords protection against IL-1 beta-induced production of catabolic mediators NO and PGE(2) in human chondrocytes by regulating the expression and catalytic activity of their respective enzymes. Furthermore, our results also indicate that ECGC may be of potential therapeutic value for inhibiting cartilage resorption in arthritic joints.

(8) Green tea EGCG is a selective COX-2 inhibitor. Hussain T, Gupta S, Adhami VM, Mukhtar H. Green tea constituent epigallocatechin-3-gallate selectively inhibits COX-2 without affecting COX-1 expression in human prostate carcinoma cells. Int J Cancer. 2005 Feb 10;113(4):660-9.

Overexpression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 has been implicated in many pathologic conditions, including cancer. One practical inference of this finding is that sustained inhibition of COX-2 could serve as a promising target for prevention or therapy of cancer. Conventional nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and recently developed COX-2-specific inhibitors have shown considerable promise in prevention of some forms of human cancer; however, its application is limited due to severe toxic side effects on normal cells. Therefore, there is a need to define novel, nontoxic dietary constituents with proven chemopreventive effects through other pathways that also possess COX-2 but not COX-1 inhibitory activity. Recent studies on green tea and its major polyphenolic constituent (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) have established its remarkable cancer preventive and some cancer therapeutic effects. Here, we show that EGCG inhibits COX-2 without affecting COX-1 expression at both the mRNA and protein levels, in androgen-sensitive LNCaP and androgen-insensitive PC-3 human prostate carcinoma cells. Based on our study, it is tempting to suggest that a combination of EGCG with chemotherapeutic drugs could be an improved strategy for prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.

(9) Green tea EGCG may be a potential immunotherapeutic agent against respiratory infections in immunocompromised patients and heavy smokers. Yamamoto Y, Matsunaga K, Friedman H. Protective effects of green tea catechins on alveolar macrophages against bacterial infections. Biofactors. 2004;21(1-4):119-21.

Bacterial pneumonia in immunocompromised patients as well as elderly persons often becomes a life threatening disease, even when effective antibiotics are used extensively. In addition, the appearance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in medical facilities as well as in patients requires another approach to treat such patients besides treatment with antibiotics. In this regard, green tea catechins, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), may be one of the potential agents for such purpose due to its possible potential immunomodulatory as well as antimicrobial activity. The studies by us showed that EGCg enhanced the in vitro resistance of alveolar macrophages to Legionella pneumophila infection by selective immunomodulatory effects on cytokine formation. Furthermore, the tobacco smoking-induced impairment of alveolar macrophages regarding antibacterial as well as immune activity was also recovered by EGCg treatment. These results indicate that EGCg may be a possible potential immunotherapeutic agent against respiratory infections in immunocompromised patients, such as heavy smokers.

(10) Continuous intakes of green tea could prevent the deleterious consequences of H. pylori infection Lee KM, Yeo M, Choue JS, Jin JH, Park SJ, Cheong JY, Lee KJ, Kim JH, Hahm KB. Protective Mechanism of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate against Helicobacter pylori-Induced Gastric Epithelial Cytotoxicity via the Blockage of TLR-4 Signaling. Helicobacter. 2004 Dec;9(6):632-42.

ABSTRACT Background. Helicobacter pylori infection leads to gastric mucosal damage by several mechanisms including the direct effect of virulence factors produced by H. pylori, propagation of inflammation, oxidative stress, DNA damage, and induction of apoptosis. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), one of the green tea catechins, is known to suppress H. pylori-induced gastritis through its antioxidative and antibacterial actions. In this study, we evaluated the protective mechanism of EGCG against H. pylori-induced cytotoxicity in gastric epithelial cells. Materials and Methods. MTT assays and dye exclusion assays were performed to analyze the effect of EGCG on the viability of gastric epithelial cells. The degree of DNA damage was evaluated by Comet assay and apoptotic DNA fragmentation assay. To investigate the effect of EGCG on H. pylori-induced toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) signaling, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis corresponding to glycosylated TLR-4 were carried out. Lipoxygenase metabolites were measured with reverse-phase, high-performance liquid chromatography. Results. EGCG pretreatment effectively rescued gastric mucosal cells from the H. pylori-induced apoptotic cell death and DNA damage, and administration of this catechin enhanced gastric epithelial cell proliferation. Helicobacter pylori infection stimulated the glycosylation of TLR-4, which initiates intracellular signaling in the infected host cell, but the pretreatment with EGCG completely blocked the TLR-4 glycosylation. The blockage of TLR-4 activation by EGCG resulted in inactivation of extracellular signal response kinase 1/2 and of nuclear factor-kappaB, the downstream molecules of TLR-4 signaling induced by H. pylori. This disturbance of H. pylori-induced host cell signaling by EGCG attenuated the synthesis of the proinflammatory mediator, hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid. Conclusions. EGCG pretreatment showed significant cytoprotective effects against H. pylori-induced gastric cytotoxicity via interference of the TLR-4 signaling induced by H. pylori. Thus, our result implies that continuous intakes of green tea could prevent the deleterious consequences of H. pylori infection.

(11) Green tea EGCG, by promoting monocytic apoptosis, may be a new promising anti-inflammatory agent, and should be tested in clinical trials. Kawai K, Tsuno NH, Kitayama J, Okaji Y, Yazawa K, Asakage M, Sasaki S, Watanabe T, Takahashi K, Nagawa H. Epigallocatechin gallate induces apoptosis of monocytes. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Jan;115(1):186-91.

Background Monocytes are the main effector cells of the immune system, and the regulation of their survival and apoptosis is essential for monocyte-involved immune responses. Green tea polyphenol catechin has been reported to have antiallergic and anti-inflammatory activities, but its effect on monocytes has not yet been explored. Objective To elucidate the mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory effect of catechin, we studied the effect of catechin, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), on the apoptosis of monocytes. Methods Isolated peripheral blood monocytes were incubated without or with catechin, and apoptosis was evaluated by annexin V and propidium iodide double-staining or terminal deoxynucleotidyl assay. The activation of caspases 3, 8, and 9 was also evaluated by flow cytometry. The influence of GM-CSF or LPS, the known monocyte survival factors, on the EGCG-induced apoptosis of monocytes was investigated. Results Among the 4 catechin derivatives tested, EGCG and epicatechin gallate induced apoptosis of monocytes. Caspases 3, 8, and 9, which play a central role in the apoptotic cascade, were dose-dependently activated by EGCG treatment. The EGCG-induced apoptosis of monocytes was not affected by GM-CSF or LPS. Conclusion Catechin, especially EGCG, by promoting monocytic apoptosis, may be a new promising anti-inflammatory agent, and should be tested in clinical trials.

(12) Green tea EGCG suppresses IgE-mediated allergic reactions by interaction of lipid raft of the cell surface. Fujimura Y, Tachibana H, Yamada K. Lipid raft-associated catechin suppresses the FcepsilonRI expression by inhibiting phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2. FEBS Lett. 2004 Jan 2;556(1-3):204-10.

The major green tea catechin, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG), has a suppressive effect on the expression of the high-affinity IgE receptor FcepsilonRI, which is key molecule in the IgE-mediated allergic reactions. Here we show that EGCG binds to the cell surface and highly associates with plasma membrane microdomains, lipid rafts, on the human basophilic KU812 cells. The disruption of these lipid rafts caused a reduction of the amount of raft-associated EGCG and the FcepsilonRI-suppressive effect of EGCG. We also found that EGCG has an ability to inhibit the phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2) and that the ERK1/2 specific inhibitor also reduced FcepsilonRI expression. Moreover, the inhibitory effect elicited by EGCG on ERK1/2 was prevented by disruption of rafts. Thus, these results suggest that the interaction between EGCG and the lipid rafts is important for EGCG's ability to downregulate FcepsilonRI expression, and ERK1/2 may be involved in this suppression signal.


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