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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jul 14;52(14):4571-6.

Inhibitory effect of (-)-epigallocatechin 3-gallate, a polyphenol of green tea, on neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro and in vivo.

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Department of Physiological Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194, Japan.


The effect of (-)-epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG), a major polyphenol of green tea, on neutrophil migration has been studied using multiwell-type Boyden chambers in vitro and a fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled ovalbumin (FITC-OVA)-induced rat allergic inflammation model in vivo. EGCG inhibited rat neutrophil chemotaxis toward cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-1 (CINC-1) in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, CINC-1-induced neutrophil chemotaxis was suppressed by the pretreatment of rat neutrophils with EGCG at the concentration over 15 microg/mL. EGCG caused concentration-dependent suppression of the transient increase in CINC-1-induced intracellular free calcium level in both rat neutrophils and rat CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2)-transfected HEK 293 cells. EGCG inhibited CINC-1 production by IL-1beta-stimulated rat fibroblasts (NRK-49F cells) and lipopolysaccharide-stimulated rat macrophages at the concentration over 50 microg/mL, a comparatively high concentration. Oral administration of EGCG (1.0 mg or 1.5 mg/rat) at 1 h before the challenge with FITC-OVA suppressed neutrophil infiltration into the air pouch (inflammatory site) in the air-pouch type FITC-OVA-induced allergic inflammation in rats. Chemokine levels in the pouch fluids, however, were not influenced by EGCG administration. The results suggest that EGCG suppressed neutrophil infiltration by a direct action on neutrophils, but not by indirect actions, including the suppression of chemokine production at the inflammatory site.

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