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. 2011 Aug;45(8):966-74.
doi: 10.3109/10715762.2011.566869. Epub 2011 Mar 22.

Theanine Intake Improves the Shortened Lifespan, Cognitive Dysfunction and Behavioural Depression That Are Induced by Chronic Psychosocial Stress in Mice

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Theanine Intake Improves the Shortened Lifespan, Cognitive Dysfunction and Behavioural Depression That Are Induced by Chronic Psychosocial Stress in Mice

Keiko Unno et al. Free Radic Res. .

Abstract

To evaluate the psychosocial effect on lifespan and cognitive function, this study investigated the effect of confrontational housing on mice because conflict among male mice is a psychosocial stress. In addition, it investigated the anti-stress effect of theanine (γ-glutamylethylamide), an amino acid in tea. Mice were housed under confrontation. That is, two male mice were separately housed in the same cage with a partition for establishing the territorial imperative in each mouse. Then, the partition was removed and mice were co-housed confrontationally (confront-housing) using a model mouse of accelerated-senescence (SAMP10) that exhibited cerebral atrophy and cognitive dysfunction with ageing. It was found that mice began to die earlier under confront-housing than group-housed control mice. Additionally, it was found that cerebral atrophy, learning impairment and behavioural depression were higher in mice under the stressed condition of confront-housing than age-matched mice under group-housing. Furthermore, the level of oxidative damage in cerebral DNA was higher in mice housed confrontationally than group-housed control mice. On the other hand, the consumption of purified theanine (20 μg/ml, 5-6 mg/kg) suppressed the shortened lifespan, cerebral atrophy, learning impairment, behavioural depression and oxidative damage in cerebral DNA. These results suggest that psychosocial stress accelerates age-related alterations such as oxidative damage, lifespan, cognitive dysfunction and behavioural depression. The intake of theanine might be a potential candidate for suppression of disadvantage under psychosocial stress.

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