Epigallocatechin gallate ameliorates airway inflammation by regulating Treg/Th17 imbalance in an asthmatic mouse model.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2019 Apr 25 ;72:422-428. Epub 2019 Apr 25. PMID: 31030098
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a polyphenol that is found in green tea that has been shown to ameliorate airway inflammation in an ovalbumin-sensitized asthmatic mouse model. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of EGCG by regulating the regulatory T cell (Treg)/Th 17 cells balance in this model. Female BALB/c mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin by intraperitoneal injection. EGCG was administered to asthmatic mice intraperitoneally 1 h before each OVA challenge. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) was measured, and lung inflammatory infiltrations were assessed by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. Serum OVA-specific IgE levels, Interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels and Interleukin-17A (IL-17A) levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), serum, and splenocyte culture supernatants were measured by ELISA. Flow cytometry was used to assess the effects of EGCG on the frequency of CD4CD25Foxp3Treg cells in the splenocytes and real-time PCR method was used to measure the expression of Forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) mRNA and retinoid-related orphan receptor gammat (RORγt) mRNA in the lung tissue. The results showed that administration of EGCG significantly decreased AHR and OVA specific IgE in the serum, increased IL-10 levels in the BALF, serum, and splenocyte culture supernatant, and the frequency of CD4CD25Foxp3Treg cells in the splenocytes in asthmatic mice. Administration of EGCG also ameliorated airway inflammation and eosinophil infiltrations in asthmatic mice. These results suggested that EGCG likely ameliorated OVA-induced airway inflammation by increasing the production of IL-10, the number of CD4CD25Foxp3Treg cells and expression of Foxp3 mRNA in the lung tissue, and it could be an effective agent for treating asthma.