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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2006 Feb;50(2):115-22.

Inhibitory effects of black tea theaflavin derivatives on 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced inflammation and arachidonic acid metabolism in mouse ears.

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Department of Chemical Biology, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA.


Tea has been shown to possess several health beneficial properties primarily due to its polyphenolic content. The major polyphenolic compounds in black tea leaves are theaflavins (TFs) formed by oxidative coupling of catechins in tea leaves during its processing. In this paper, we report the characterization of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced mouse ear inflammatory model and the inhibitory effects of major black tea TFs derivatives on this inflammation. In addition, the effect on inflammatory biomarkers, such as proinflammatory cytokines and arachidonic acid metabolites, are reported as well. A single topical application of TPA to ears of CD-1 mice induced a time- and dose-dependent increase in edema as well as formation of proinflammatory cytokine proteins interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in mouse ears. A single topical application of equimolar of black tea constituents (TF, theaflavin-3-gallate, theaflavin-3'-gallate, and theaflavin-3,3'-digallate) strongly inhibited TPA-induced edema of mouse ears. Application of TFs mixture to mouse ears 20 min prior to each TPA application once a day for 4 days inhibited TPA-induced persistent inflammation, as well as TPA-induced increase in IL-1beta and IL-6 protein levels. TFs also inhibited arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism via both cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase pathways. This observation was substantiated by decreased amounts of AA metabolites prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and leukotriene B4 (LTB4) levels. Combined application of TF and sulindac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug resulted a significant synergetic anti-inflammatory effect. Oral administration of TFs or the hot water extract of black tea leaves also significantly inhibited TPA-induced edema in mouse ears. In conclusion, proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1beta and IL-6, as well as the intermediated metabolites of AA, PGE2, and LTB4 are good biomarkers for inflammation. Black tea constituents, TF and its derivatives, had strongly anti-inflammatory activity in vivo which may be due to their ability to inhibit AA metabolism via lipoxygenase and COX pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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