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Nutr Rev. 2008 Feb;66(2):96-102. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2007.00013.x.

L-theanine intervention enhances human gammadeltaT lymphocyte function.

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1
Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. jbukowski@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Human gammadeltaT lymphocytes are a subset of T cells and are a first line of defense against microbes and tumors. These gammadeltaT cells can be primed by nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates, and certain short-chain alkylamines. These primed gammadeltaT cells have an enhanced capacity to proliferate and to secrete cytokines upon ex vivo exposure to a wide variety of microbes and tumor cells. The largest dietary source of alkylamines is L-theanine, an amino acid unique to tea beverages that is catabolized to ethylamine. Supplementation of subjects with capsules containing L-theanine and catechins has recently been shown to decrease the incidence of cold and flu symptoms, while enhancing gammadeltaT cell function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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