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J Neurosci Res. 2004 Dec 1;78(5):723-31.

(-)-Epigallocatechin gallate inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced microglial activation and protects against inflammation-mediated dopaminergic neuronal injury.

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Health Science Center, Shanghai Institute for Biological Science, Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai Second Medical University, Shanghai, Peoples Republic of China.


Microglial activation is believed to play a pivotal role in the selective neuronal injury associated with several neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease. We provide evidence that (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a major monomer of green tea polyphenols, potently inhibits lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated microglial secretion of nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) through the down-regulation of inducible NO synthase and TNF-alpha expression. In addition, EGCG exerted significant protection against microglial activation-induced neuronal injury both in the human dopaminergic cell line SH-SY5Y and in primary rat mesencephalic cultures. Our study demonstrates that EGCG is a potent inhibitor of microglial activation and thus is a useful candidate for a therapeutic approach to alleviating microglia-mediated dopaminergic neuronal injury in PD.

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