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Am J Chin Med. 2015;43(1):103-19. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X1550007X. Epub 2015 Feb 2.

Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate attenuates TNF-α-induced intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression and monocyte adhesion to retinal pigment epithelial cells.

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Division of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand , Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.


Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a major polyphenol component of green tea (Camellia sinensis) and demonstrates anti-oxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. EGCG has been shown to protect retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) against oxidative stress-induced cell death. The pathogenesis of diseases in the retina is usually initiated by local inflammation at the RPE cell layer, and inflammation is mostly associated with leukocyte migration and the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Whether EGCG can modulate the cytokine-induced inflammatory response of RPE, particularly leukocyte migration, has not been clearly elucidated, and was therefore the objective of this study. ARPE-19 cells were cultured with different concentrations of TNF-α in the presence or absence of EGCG to different time points. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were determined. Intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and phosphor-NF-κB and IκB expression were determined by Western blot analysis. Phosphor-NF-κB nuclear translocation and monocyte-RPE adhesion were investigated using immunofluorescence confocal laser scanning microscopy. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was carried out to further determine the ultrastructure of monocyte-RPE adhesion. The results demonstrated that TNF-α modulated inflammatory effects in ARPE-19 by induction of ROS and up-regulation of ICAM-1 expression. Moreover, TNF-α-induced phosphor-NF-κB nuclear translocation, increased phosphor-NF-κB expression and IκB degradation, and increased the degree of monocyte-RPE adhesion. Pretreating the cells with EGCG ameliorated the inflammatory effects of TNF-α. The results indicated that EGCG significantly exerts anti-inflammatory effects in ARPE-19 cells, partly as a suppressor of TNF-α signaling and that the inhibition was mediated via the NF-κB pathway.


Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG); Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1); NF-κB Pathway; Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cell; THP-1 Cells; TNF-α

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