Identification of biliary metabolites of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate in rats

J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Sep;48(9):4151-5. doi: 10.1021/jf000386x.


After oral administration of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) to rats, its biliary metabolites were examined. Although a large part of the biliary metabolites was found to exist in conjugated forms, it was difficult to separate the conjugated forms. Thus the free form of biliary metabolites was prepared by beta-glucuronidase/sulfatase treatment and was purified by HPLC. Six compounds purified were subjected to FABeta-MS and NMR analyses. The six metabolites thus obtained were shown to be EGCg, 3'-O-methyl-EGCg, 4'-O-methyl-EGCg, 3' '-O-methyl-EGCg, 4' '-O-methyl-EGCg, and 4',4' '-di-O-methyl-EGCg, respectively. The six EGCg metabolites and their conjugates excreted during a 4-h period were estimated to be roughly 0.1% and 3.3% of the administered EGCg, respectively. In addition, 4' '-O-methyl-EGCg and 4',4' '-di-O-methyl-EGCg were estimated to exist only in the sulfate form, but the other four metabolites existed in both glucuronide (and/or sulfoglucuronide) and sulfate forms.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biliary Tract / metabolism*
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / chemistry
  • Catechin / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Molecular Structure
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Fast Atom Bombardment


  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate