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Eur J Nutr. 2013 Apr;52(3):1243-50. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0435-0. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Effect of catechin/epicatechin dietary intake on endothelial dysfunction biomarkers and proinflammatory cytokines in aorta of hyperhomocysteinemic mice.

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Laboratoire BFA, Unit of Functional and Adaptive Biology (BFA), Université Paris Diderot-CNRS EAC 4413, Paris 7, Case 7104, 3 rue Marie-Andrée Lagroua Weill Hallé, 75205, Paris cedex 13, France.



Hyperhomocysteinemia is well recognized as an independent risk factor for the development of premature atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, however, may be prevented by polyphenols, potent antioxidant compounds with anti-atherogenic properties. Previously, we used cystathionine beta synthase-deficient mice [Cbs (±)] fed a high-methionine diet-a murine model of hyperhomocysteinemia-to show that daily intake of a red wine polyphenolic extract, mainly comprised of catechin and epicatechin, has a beneficial effect on aortic expression of endothelial dysfunction biomarkers and pro-inflammatory cytokines. The aim of the present study was to understand whether catechin and epicatechin, in purified forms, have anti-atherogenic effects in hyperhomocysteinemia.


Cbs (±) mice received 50 μg of catechin and/or epicatechin daily in drinking water for 1 month. Plasma homocysteine (Hcy) level and aortic expression of several endothelial dysfunction biomarkers (Vcam-1, Icam-1, E-selectin, and Lox-1) and pro-inflammatory cytokines (Tnf-α, Il-6) were assessed.


We found that both catechin and epicatechin had a beneficial effect on plasma homocysteine levels and endothelial dysfunction biomarker expression; however, only catechin had a beneficial effect on pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. Further, when both polyphenols were given, a beneficial effect was observed only on pro-inflammatory cytokine expression.


Catechin seems to be a more potent anti-atherogenic compound than epicatechin in hyperhomocysteinemia and should be considered as a novel therapeutic approach against endothelial dysfunction induced by this condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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