Background/Aims: We explored the effects of catechins (decaffeinated green tea extracts containing (-)-epicatechin, (-)-epigallocatechin, (-)-epicatechin gallate and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate) on atherosclerosis risk factors, oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) and its primary metabolite, phosphatidylcholine hydroperoxide (PCOOH) induced oxidative injury in cultured endothelial cell line and rats. Methods: We used endothelial cell line and male Wistar rats to determine the effect of catechins on oxLDL or PCOOH induced oxidative injury including apoptosis, H2O2 level, vascular responses and urinary 8-isoprostane and nitrite/nitrate concentration. Plasma catechins concentration was determined by a CoulArray HPLC. Responses of aortic and renal vasoconstriction were evaluated by a transonic meter and a full-field laser perfusion imager. Results: PCOOH administration significantly increased H2O2 amounts and cell apoptosis and decreased endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression in the cultured endothelial cells. Catechins pretreatment significantly reduced PCOOH-elevated H2O2 amounts, endothelial cell apoptosis and partly recovered eNOS expression. Intravenous administration of oxLDL, PCOOH or H2O2, not native LDL, significantly decreased renal and aortic blood flow associated with enhanced ICAM-1 expression and 4-hydroxynoneal (4-HNE) accumulation, and decreased eNOS expression in the male Wistrar rats. One hour after oral intake of green tea extracts, 4 peaks of catechins were found in the rat plasma. The increased plasma catechins significantly inhibited oxLDL-, PCOOH- or H2O2-induced renal and aortic vasoconstriction, decreased urinary 8-isoprostane levels, renal ICAM-1 expression and 4-HNE accumulation, and restored nitrite/nitrate amounts and eNOS activity. Conclusions: Our data suggests that catechins pretreatment decrease PCOOH-induced endothelial apoptosis and arterial vasoconstriction through the action of H2O2 inhibition and eNOS restoration.
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