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Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. 2012 Jun;95(3):231-7. doi: 10.1002/bdrb.21011. Epub 2012 Mar 22.

Exposure to green tea extract alters the incidence of specific cyclophosphamide-induced malformations.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, USA.



Green tea extract (GTE) has been shown to have antioxidative properties due to its high content of polyphenols and catechin gallates. Previous studies indicated that catechin gallates scavenge free radicals and attenuate the effects of reactive oxygen species. Cyclophosphamide (CP) produces reactive oxidative species, which can have adverse effects on development, causing limb, digit, and cranial abnormalities. The current study was performed to determine if exposure to GTE can decrease teratogenic effects induced by CP in CD-1 mice.


From gestation days (GD) 6-13, mated CD-1 mice were dosed with 400 or 800 mg/kg/d GTE; 100, 200, 400, or 800 mg/kg/d GTE + CP; CP alone, or the vehicle. GTE was given by gavage. CP (20 mg/kg) was given by intraperitoneal injection on GD 10. Dams were sacrificed on GD 17, and their litters were examined for adverse effects.


The highest GTE dose did not effectively attenuate, and in some cases exacerbated the negative effect of CP. GTE alone was also associated with an increased incidence of microblepharia. Conversely, moderate GTE doses (200 and/or 400 mg/kg/d) attenuated the effect of CP on fetal weight and (GTE 200 mg/kg/d) decreased the incidences of certain defects resulting from CP exposure.


Exposure of a developing mammal to moderate doses of GTE can modulate the effects of exposure to CP during development, possibly by affecting biotransformation, while a higher GTE dose tended to exacerbate the developmental toxicity of CP. GTE alone appeared to cause an adverse effect on eyelid development.

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