Tea catechins improve left ventricular dysfunction, suppress myocardial inflammation and fibrosis, and alter cytokine expression in rat autoimmune myocarditis

Eur J Heart Fail. 2007 Feb;9(2):152-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejheart.2006.05.007. Epub 2006 Jul 10.


Background: Myocarditis is a clinically serious disease. Tea catechins have been shown to reduce inflammation; however the effects of catechins on the development of myocarditis have not been well studied.

Aims: To clarify the role of catechins, using an experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) model.

Methods and results: Lewis rats were immunized with porcine cardiac myosin to establish EAM. Tea catechins were administered orally from day 0 to day 21 (Group A, n=12), from day 14 to day 21 (Group B, n=8), or saline (Group C, n=9) daily. Rats were killed on day 21. Echocardiograms indicated that Group A showed significantly improved cardiac function compared to Group C. Pathologically, non-treated EAM hearts showed severe myocardial cell infiltration and fibrosis; however Group A showed significantly less area. Immunohistochemistry revealed enhanced expression of NF-kappaB and ICAM-1 in non-treated EAM hearts, which was suppressed by catechin administration in Group A. mRNA levels of TNF-alpha were decreased and Th2 cytokines were markedly enhanced in Group A compared with the control group. Late catechin administration (Group B) showed limited effects on EAM.

Conclusion: The catechins suppressed ventricular remodelling in EAM; thus catechin treatment might be a promising option for the prevention of EAM myocarditis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Catechin / therapeutic use
  • Cytokines
  • Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Ventricles / drug effects*
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammation*
  • Male
  • Models, Animal
  • Myocardium*
  • Nervous System Autoimmune Disease, Experimental*
  • Rats
  • Tea*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / drug therapy*


  • Cytokines
  • Tea
  • Catechin