Neutrophil restraint by green tea: inhibition of inflammation, associated angiogenesis, and pulmonary fibrosis.
J Immunol. 2003 Apr 15;170(8):4335-41. PMID: 12682270
Neutrophils play an essential role in host defense and inflammation, but the latter may trigger and sustain the pathogenesis of a range of acute and chronic diseases. Green tea has been claimed to exert anti-inflammatory properties through unknown molecular mechanisms. We have previously shown that the most abundant catechin of green tea, (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), strongly inhibits neutrophil elastase. Here we show that 1) micromolar EGCG represses reactive oxygen species activity and inhibits apoptosis of activated neutrophils, and 2) dramatically inhibits chemokine-induced neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro; 3) both oral EGCG and green tea extract block neutrophil-mediated angiogenesis in vivo in an inflammatory angiogenesis model, and 4) oral administration of green tea extract enhances resolution in a pulmonary inflammation model, significantly reducing consequent fibrosis. These results provide molecular and cellular insights into the claimed beneficial properties of green tea and indicate that EGCG is a potent anti-inflammatory compound with therapeutic potential.