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Free Radic Biol Med. 2009 Feb 1;46(3):414-21. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2008.10.041. Epub 2008 Nov 5.

Significant longevity-extending effects of EGCG on Caenorhabditis elegans under stress.

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State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, People's Republic of China.


Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a main active ingredient of green tea, is believed to be beneficial in association with anticarcinogenesis, antiobesity, and blood pressure reduction. Here we report that EGCG extended Caenorhabditis elegans longevity under stress. Under heat stress (35 degrees C), EGCG improved the mean longevity by 13.1% at 0.1 microg/ml, 8.0% at 1.0 microg/ml, and 11.8% at 10.0 microg/ml. Under oxidative stress, EGCG could improve the mean longevity of C. elegans by 172.9% at 0.1 microg/ml, 177.7% at 1.0 microg/ml, and 88.5% at 10.0 microg/ml. However, EGCG could not extend the life span of C. elegans under normal culture conditions. Further studies demonstrated that the significant longevity-extending effects of EGCG on C. elegans could be attributed to its in vitro and in vivo free radical-scavenging effects and its up-regulating effects on stress-resistance-related proteins, including superoxide dismutase-3 (SOD-3) and heat shock protein-16.2 (HSP-16.2), in transgenic C. elegans with SOD-3::green fluorescent protein (GFP) and HSP-16.::GFP expression. Quantitative real-time PCR results showed that the up-regulation of aging-associated genes such as daf-16, sod-3, and skn-1 could also contribute to the stress resistance attributed to EGCG. As the death rate of a population is closely related to the mortality caused by external stress, it could be concluded that the survival-enhancing effects of EGCG on C. elegans under stress are very important for antiaging research.

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