(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate increases the expression of genes related to fat oxidation in the skeletal muscle of high fat-fed mice

Food Funct. 2011 Feb;2(2):111-6. doi: 10.1039/c0fo00155d. Epub 2011 Jan 4.


(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major polyphenol in green tea, has been shown to prevent the development of obesity in rodent models. Here, we examined the effect of EGCG on markers of fat oxidation in high fat-fed C57bl/6J mice. High fat-fed mice treated with 0.32% dietary EGCG for 16 weeks had reduced body weight gain and final body weight (19.2% and 9.4%, respectively) compared to high fat-fed controls. EGCG-treatment decreased fasting blood glucose, plasma insulin, and insulin resistance by 18.5%, 25.3%, and 33.9%, respectively. EGCG treatment also reduced markers of obesity-related fatty liver disease in high fat-fed mice. Gene expression analysis of skeletal muscle showed that EGCG increased mRNA levels of nuclear respiratory factor (nrf)1, medium chain acyl coA decarboxylase (mcad), uncoupling protein (ucp)3, and peroxisome proliferator responsive element (ppar)α by 1.4-1.9-fold compared to high fat-fed controls. These genes are all related to mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation. In addition, EGCG increased fecal excretion of lipids in high fat-fed mice. In summary, it appears that EGCG modulates body weight gain in high fat-fed mice both by increasing the expression of genes related fat oxidation in the skeletal muscle and by modulating fat absorption from the diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / chemistry
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Ion Channels / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Nuclear Respiratory Factor 1 / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • PPAR alpha / genetics
  • Uncoupling Protein 3
  • Weight Gain / drug effects
  • Weight Gain / physiology


  • Antioxidants
  • Cadherins
  • Dietary Fats
  • Ion Channels
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Nrf1 protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Respiratory Factor 1
  • PPAR alpha
  • Ucp3 protein, mouse
  • Uncoupling Protein 3
  • M-cadherin
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate