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Issue 9, 2013
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Immunomodulating effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea: mechanisms and applications

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Abstract

Consuming green tea or its active ingredient, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), has been shown consistently to benefit the healthy functioning of several body systems. In the immune system specifically, accumulating evidence has revealed an immunomodulating effect of green tea/EGCG. Several types of immune cells in both the innate and adaptive immune systems are known to be affected in varying degrees by green tea/EGCG. Among them, the dramatic effect on T cell functions has been repeatedly demonstrated, including T cell activation, proliferation, differentiation, and production of cytokines. In particular, dysregulated T cell function with respect to different subsets of CD4+ T cells is a critical pathogenic factor in the development of autoimmune inflammatory diseases. Recent studies have shown that EGCG affects the differentiation of naïve CD4+ T cells into different effector subsets in a way that would be expected to favorably impact autoimmunity. Consistent with these findings, studies using animal models of autoimmune diseases have reported disease improvement in animals treated with green tea/EGCG. Altogether, these studies identify and support the use of EGCG as a potential therapeutic agent in preventing and ameliorating T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. Given the paucity of information in human studies, the translational value of these findings needs to be verified in future research.

Graphical abstract: Immunomodulating effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea: mechanisms and applications

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Article information


Submitted
03 Jan 2013
Accepted
18 Jun 2013
First published
20 Jun 2013

Food Funct., 2013,4, 1287-1303
Article type
Review Article

Immunomodulating effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea: mechanisms and applications

M. Pae and D. Wu, Food Funct., 2013, 4, 1287
DOI: 10.1039/C3FO60076A

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