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Life Sci. 2003 Jan 17;72(9):1073-83.

Effects of green tea polyphenols on dopamine uptake and on MPP+ -induced dopamine neuron injury.

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Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


As antioxidants, polyphenols are considered to be potentially useful in preventing chronic diseases in man, including Parkinson's disease (PD), a disease involving dopamine (DA) neurons. Our studies have demonstrated that polyphenols extracted from green tea (GT) can inhibit the uptake of 3H-dopamine (3H-DA) and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)) by DA transporters (DAT) and partially protect embryonic rat mesencephalic dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons from MPP(+)-induced injury. The inhibitory effects of GT polyphenols on 3H-DA uptake were determined in DAT-pCDNA3-transfected Chinese Hamster Ovary (DAT-CHO) cells and in striatal synaptosomes of C57BL/6 mice in vitro and in vivo. The inhibitory effects on 3H-MPP(+) uptake were determined in primary cultures of embryonic rat mesencephalic DAergic cells. Inhibition of uptake for both 3H-DA and 3H-MPP(+) was dose-dependent in the presence of polyphenols. Incubation with 50 microM MPP(+) resulted in a significant loss of tyrosine-hydroxylase (TH)-positive cells in the primary embryonic mesencephalic cultures, while pretreatment with polyphenols (10 to 30 microg/ml) or mazindol (10 microM), a classical DAT inhibitor, significantly attenuated MPP(+)-induced loss of TH-positive cells. These results suggest that GT polyphenols have inhibitory effects on DAT, through which they block MPP(+) uptake and protect DAergic neurons against MPP(+)-induced injury.

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