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J Pharmacol Sci. 2007 Oct;105(2):211-4. Epub 2007 Oct 6.

Involvement of GABA(A) receptors in the neuroprotective effect of theanine on focal cerebral ischemia in mice.

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Department of Neuropharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, Japan.


We investigated the involvement of gamma-aminobutyric acid(A) (GABA(A)) receptors in the neuroprotective effect of gamma-glutamylethylamide (theanine), a component of Japanese green tea, following a 4-h middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion in mice. Theanine (1 mg/kg) reduced the size of the cerebral infarct and alterations of NeuN, GFAP, and Iba 1 expression levels at 24 h after MCA occlusion. This neuroprotective effect of theanine was prevented by bicuculline (GABA(A)-receptor antagonist, 10 mg/kg) but not 3-mercaptopropionic acid (glutamate decarboxylase inhibitor). These results suggest that the neuroprotective effect of theanine is mediated, at least in part, by GABA(A) receptors.

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