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Biofactors. 2009 May-Jun;35(3):279-94. doi: 10.1002/biof.34.

Protection of dystrophic muscle cells with polyphenols from green tea correlates with improved glutathione balance and increased expression of 67LR, a receptor for (-)-epigallocatechin gallate.

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Laboratory of Pharmacology, Geneva-Lausanne School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal muscle wasting disease caused by the absence of the protein dystrophin. Because oxidative stress contributes to the pathogenesis of DMD, we investigated if a green tea polyphenol blend (GTP) and its major polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), could protect muscle cell primary cultures from oxidative damage induced by hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) in the widely used mdx mouse model. On-line fluorimetric measurements using an H(2)O(2)-sensitive probe indicated that GTP and EGCg scavenged peroxide in a concentration-dependent manner. A 48 h exposure to EGCg increased glutathione content but did not alter the expression of proteins involved in membrane stabilization and repair. Pretreatment of dystrophic cultures with GTP or EGCg 48 h before exposure to H(2)O(2) improved cell survival. Normal cultures were protected by GTP but not by EGCg. 67LR, a receptor for EGCg, was seven times more abundant in dystrophic compared with normal cultures. Altogether our results demonstrate that GTP and EGCg protect muscle cells by scavenging H(2)O(2) and by improving the glutathione balance. In addition, the higher levels of 67LR in dystrophic muscle cells compared with normal ones likely contribute to EGCg-mediated survival.

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