Inhibition of autoantigen expression by (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (the major constituent of green tea) in normal human cells.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Nov;315(2):805-11. Epub 2005 Jul 26. PMID:16046615
Autoimmune disorders, characterized by inflammation and apoptosis of target cells leading to tissue destruction, are mediated in part by autoantibodies against normal cellular components (autoantigens) that may be overexpressed. For example, antibodies against the autoantigens SS-A/Ro and SS-B/La are primary markers for systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren's syndrome. Recently, studies in animals demonstrated that green tea consumption may reduce the severity of some autoimmune disorders, but the mechanism is unclear. Herein, we sought to determine whether the most abundant green tea polyphenol, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), affects autoantigen expression in human cells. Cultures of pooled normal human primary epidermal keratinocytes and of an immortalized human salivary acinar cell line were incubated with 100 microM EGCG (a physiologically achievable level for topical application or oral administration) for various time periods and then analyzed by cDNA microarray analysis, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and Western blotting for expression of several major autoantigen candidates. EGCG inhibited the transcription and translation of major autoantigens, including SS-B/La, SS-A/Ro, coilin, DNA topoisomerase I, and alpha-fodrin. These findings, taken together with green tea's anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic effects, suggest that green tea polyphenols could serve as an important component in novel approaches to combat autoimmune disorders in humans.