Possible molecular basis of cardioprotective effects of green tea

E. Pasini, A. Stephanou, C. C. Scarabelli, G. Corsetti, R. Aquilani, T. M. Scarabelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical data suggest that people who use green tea have a lower cardiovascular risk. However, the exact mechanisms of these cardioprotective effects are unknown. We know that STAT1 plays a critical role in promoting apoptotic cell death and STAT3 may antagonise STAT1 and protect cardiac myocytes from ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. More recently it has been shown that specific molecules such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is present in green tea extract (GTE), have antioxidant properties. Considering that: (i) oxygen free radicals (OFR) are produced during myocardial I/R insult and (ii) OFR are responsible for reperfusion cardiac damage, we therefore investigated whether chronic administration per os of GTE reduced I/R damage in the Langendorff perfused isolated rat heart. In addition we evaluated myocardial content of STAT1 and STAT3 and degree of apoptosis. In Sprague-Dawley isolated hearts, GTE reduced the ischaemic mechanical insult, prolonged STAT3 activation/phosphorylation and reduced STAT1 activation with consequent less cell apoptosis. These results show that chronic treatment with GTE protects the heart from I/R injury. Activation of prosurvival STAT3 over the pro-apoptotic STAT1 could be one of the molecular mechanisms involved in green tea-mediated cardiopretection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalMediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • Apoptosis
  • Green tea
  • Heart
  • Ischaemia
  • Reperfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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