Catechins are key components of teas that have antiproliferative properties. We investigated the effects of green tea catechins on intracellular signalling and VEGF induction in vitro in serum-deprived HT29 human colon cancer cells and in vivo on the growth of HT29 cells in nude mice. In the in vitro studies, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most abundant catechin in green tea extract, inhibited Erk-1 and Erk-2 activation in a dose-dependent manner. However, other tea catechins such as (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG), and (-)-epicatechin (EC) did not affect Erk-1 or 2 activation at a concentration of 30 microM. EGCG also inhibited the increase of VEGF expression and promoter activity induced by serum starvation. In the in vivo studies, athymic BALB/c nude mice were inoculated subcutaneously with HT29 cells and treated with daily intraperitoneal injections of EC (negative control) or EGCG at 1.5 mg day(-1)mouse(-1)starting 2 days after tumour cell inoculation. Treatment with EGCG inhibited tumour growth (58%), microvessel density (30%), and tumour cell proliferation (27%) and increased tumour cell apoptosis (1.9-fold) and endothelial cell apoptosis (3-fold) relative to the control condition (P< 0.05 for all comparisons). EGCG may exert at least part of its anticancer effect by inhibiting angiogenesis through blocking the induction of VEGF.
Copyright 2001 Cancer Research Campaign.