Oral pretreatment with a green tea polyphenol for cardioprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury in an isolated rat heart model

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011 Feb;141(2):511-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2010.04.016. Epub 2010 May 23.


Objective: Ischemia-reperfusion injury is among the most serious problems in cardiac surgery. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, a major polyphenolic component of green tea, is thought to be cardioprotective through its antioxidant activities. We investigated cardioprotective effects of oral epigallocatechin-3-gallate pretreatment against ischemia-reperfusion injury in isolated rat hearts and considered possible underlying mechanisms.

Methods: Rats were given epigallocatechin-3-gallate solution orally at 0.1, 1, or 10 mmol/L (n=12 per group) for 2 weeks; controls (n=12) received tap water alone for 2 weeks. Subsequently, Langendorff-perfused hearts were subjected to global ischemia for 30 minutes, followed by 60 minutes of reperfusion.

Results: Recoveries at 60 minutes after reperfusion of left ventricular developed pressure and maximum positive and minimum negative first derivatives of left ventricular pressure were significantly higher in 1-mmol/L group than in 0.1-mmol/L (P<.0001), 10-mmol/L (P<.05), and control (P<.0001) groups. Oxidative stress after reperfusion, as reflected by 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine index, was lower in 1-mmol/L group than in control (P<.01) and 0.1-mmol/L (P<.05) groups. Western blot analysis after reperfusion showed p38 activation and active caspase-3 expression to be lower in 1-mmol/L group than in control group (P<.05).

Conclusions: Oral pretreatment with epigallocatechin-3-gallate preserved cardiac function after ischemia-reperfusion, an effect that may involve its antioxidative, antiapoptotic properties, although a high dose did not lead to dramatic improvement in cardiac function. Oral epigallocatechin-3-gallate pretreatment may be a novel and simple cardioprotective method for preventing perioperative cardiac dysfunction in cardiac surgery.

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Camellia sinensis*
  • Cardiotonic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cardiotonic Agents / blood
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Catechin / administration & dosage
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / blood
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyguanosine / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Perfusion
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors
  • Ventricular Function, Left / drug effects*
  • Ventricular Pressure / drug effects
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Casp3 protein, rat
  • Caspase 3
  • Deoxyguanosine