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In Vivo. 2013 Sep-Oct;27(5):627-34.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), influences a murine WEHI-3 leukemia model in vivo through enhancing phagocytosis of macrophages and populations of T- and B-cells.

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Department of Nursing, St. Mary's Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management, Yilan, Taiwan, ROC.


Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the major polyphenol in green tea, and has been reported to have anticancer effects on many types of cancer cells. However, there is no report to show its effects on the immune response in a murine leukemia mouse model. Thus, in the present study, we investigated the effects of EGCG on the immune responses of murine WEHI-3 leukemia cells in vivo. WEHI-3 cells were intraperitoneally injected into normal BALB/c mice to establish leukemic BALB/c mice, which were then oral-treated with or without EGCG at 5, 20 and 40 mg/kg for two weeks. The results indicated that EGCG did not change the weight of the animals, nor the liver or spleen when compared to vehicle (olive oil) -treated groups. Furthermore, EGCG increased the percentage of cluster of differentiation 3 (CD3) (T-cell), cluster of differentiation 19 (CD19) (B-cell) and Macrophage-3 antigen (Mac-3) (macrophage) but reduced the percentage of CD11b (monocyte) cell surface markers in EGCG-treated groups as compared with the untreated leukemia group. EGCG promoted the phagocytosis of macrophages from 5 mg/kg treatment and promoted natural killer cell activity at 40 mg/kg, increased T-cell proliferation at 40 mg/kg but promoted B-cell proliferation at all three doses. Based on these observations, it appears that EGCG might exhibit an immune response in the murine WEHI-3 cell line-induced leukemia in vivo.


B-cell; Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG); WEHI-3 leukemia cells; leukemia model; macrophage; phagocytosis

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