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Eur J Nutr. 2019 Jun 10. doi: 10.1007/s00394-019-01999-2. [Epub ahead of print]

L-Theanine promotes cultured human Sertoli cells proliferation and modulates glucose metabolism.

Author information

1
Universidade da Beira Interior, 6201-001, Covilhã, Portugal.
2
Department of Microscopy, Laboratory of Cell Biology and Unit for Multidisciplinary Research in Biomedicine, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of Porto, 4050-313, Porto, Portugal.
3
LAQV/REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Bromatology and Hydrology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, 4050-313, Porto, Portugal.
4
Centre for Reproductive Genetics Prof. Alberto Barros, 4100-009, Porto, Portugal.
5
Department of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, 4050-313, Porto, Portugal.
6
i3S, Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, 4200-135, Porto, Portugal.
7
Universidade da Beira Interior, 6201-001, Covilhã, Portugal. bmcms@gmail.com.
8
Department of Microscopy, Laboratory of Cell Biology and Unit for Multidisciplinary Research in Biomedicine, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of Porto, 4050-313, Porto, Portugal. pfobox@gmail.com.
9
Department of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, 4050-313, Porto, Portugal. pfobox@gmail.com.
10
i3S, Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, 4200-135, Porto, Portugal. pfobox@gmail.com.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

L-Theanine is the major free amino acid present in tea (Camellia sinensis L.). The effects of several tea constituents on male reproduction have been investigated, but L-theanine has been overlooked. Sertoli cells (SCs) are essential for the physical and nutritional support of germ cells. In this study, we aimed to investigate the ability of L-theanine to modulate important mechanisms of human SCs (hSCs) metabolism, mitochondrial function and oxidative profile, which are essential to prevent or counteract spermatogenesis disruption in several health conditions.

METHODS:

We evaluated the effect of a dose of L-theanine attained by tea intake (5 μM) or a pharmacological dose (50 μM) on the metabolism (proton nuclear magnetic resonance and Western blot), mitochondrial functionality (protein expression of mitochondrial complexes and JC1 ratio) and oxidative profile (carbonyl levels, nitration and lipid peroxidation) of cultured hSCs.

RESULTS:

Exposure of hSCs to 50 µM of L-theanine increased cell proliferation and glucose consumption. In response to this metabolic adaptation, there was an increase in mitochondrial membrane potential, which may compromise the prooxidant-antioxidant balance. Still, no alterations were observed regarding the oxidative damages.

CONCLUSIONS:

A pharmacological dose of L-theanine (50 µM) prompts an increase in hSCs proliferation and a higher glucose metabolization to sustain the pool of Krebs cycle intermediates, which are crucial for cellular bioenergetics and biosynthesis. This study suggests an interplay between glycolysis and glutaminolysis in the regulation of hSCs metabolism.

KEYWORDS:

Antioxidant; Cell metabolism; Glutamate; L-Theanine; Mitochondria; Sertoli cell

PMID:
31183510
DOI:
10.1007/s00394-019-01999-2

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