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J Invest Dermatol. 1995 Sep;105(3):394-8.

Inhibition of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate and other skin tumor-promoter-caused induction of epidermal interleukin-1 alpha mRNA and protein expression in SENCAR mice by green tea polyphenols.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, OH 44106, USA.


Recent studies have shown that topical application of the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) to murine skin results in increased expression of the highly inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1 alpha in the epidermis. This has led to the suggestion that IL-1 alpha directly or indirectly mediates the inflammatory and hyperplastic responses elicited by TPA and possibly by other skin tumor promoters. In the current study, we investigated the effect of skin application of a polyphenolic fraction isolated from green tea (GTP) to SENCAR mice on skin tumor-promoter-caused induction of cutaneous edema and hyperplasia, and IL-1 alpha mRNA expression. Pretreatment of the skin with GTP 30 min before that of anthralin, benzoyl peroxide, mezerein, and TPA resulted in a significant (p < 0.05) inhibition of cutaneous edema and epidermal hyperplasia caused by each of these tumor promoters. Northern blot analysis indicated that topical application of TPA, anthralin, mezerein, or benzoyl peroxide to SENCAR mice resulted in an increased expression of epidermal IL-1 alpha mRNA. Pretreatment of the skin with GTP or individual epicatechin derivatives (ECDs) present therein, 30 min before that of TPA, resulted in a significant inhibition of enhanced expression of epidermal IL-1 alpha mRNA caused by skin application of TPA. These inhibitory effects were found to be dependent on the dose of GTP. Among four epicatechin derivatives present in GTP, (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate and (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate were more effective than (-)-epigallocatechin and (-)-epicatechin in affording this inhibition. Preapplication of GTP was also found to afford inhibition against anthralin-, benzoyl peroxide-, and mezerein-caused increased expression of epidermal IL-1 alpha mRNA and protein. Our study suggests that the inhibition of tumor-promoter-induced IL-1 alpha mRNA and protein expression in mouse epidermis by green tea in combination with other inhibitory effects may be responsible for the anti-tumor-promoting and anti-inflammatory effects of GTP.

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