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Where Green Tea, Catechins and science meet…..

September 21, 2010

This is the abstract that can be found in Phytomedicine (2010 Sept. 17).  A fascinating paper on the role that epigallocatechin (found in green tea) could play in reducing oxidative stress and toxicity in cancer cells.


BACKGROUND: The green tea catechin, epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG) is a superb nature’s medicine candidate. We evaluated the chemotherapeutic/chemoenhancing effects of EGCG in mice bearing the solid Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) tumor, and jointly monitored levels of serum C-reactive protein (CRP), lipid peroxidation (as malondialdehyde: MDA) and leukocytosis (LC). Besides, we verified whether; and how then, EGCG would protect against a devastating CP-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. In particular, renal proinflammatory (TNF-α) and oxidant stress signals have been investigated.

RESULTS: (EAC)-bearing mice displayed elevated serum-LC (2-fold), -CRP (11-fold) and -MDA levels (2.7-fold). EGCG (20, 40mg/kg) significantly shrank tumors (by 48% and 92%, respectively), and reduced LC, CRP and MDA levels. Such responses for CP were less prominent than those of EGCG (40mg/kg). Further, EGCG (20mg/kg) markedly augmented such functional and biochemical responses to CP. Correlation studies showed positive association between tumor size and each of CRP (r=0.97) and LC (r=0.83). Additionally; in rats, CP (10mg/kg) caused a prominent nephrotoxicity that was manifested as deteriorated glomerular filtration rate (GFR, 2-5-fold rise in serum creatinine/urea levels) after 4 days, and unanimous animal fatalities after 7 days. Kidney homogenates from CP-treated rats showed significantly higher MDA- and TNF-α-, and -depleted GSH levels. Rats treated with EGCG (50mg/kg, but not 25mg/kg) devoid the nephrotoxic effects of CP and their consequences; while their homogenates had appreciably lower MDA and TNF-α, and higher GSH levels. Notable correlation was detected between serum creatinine level and each of MDA (r=0.85), TNF-α (r=0.85) and GSH (r=-0.81).

CONCLUSION: This study shows remarkable cytotoxic/chemoenhancing effects for EGCG and introduces CRP as a predictor of both tumor’s progression and responsiveness to chemotherapy. Further, this study is the first to reveal that EGCG can obliterate the lethal CP-induced nephrotoxicity. Mechanistically, EGCG acts by suppressing leukocytosis, systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, and their sequelae.

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