Green tea is rich in polyphenols, like catechins, which are thought to contribute to the health benefits of tea. The aim of this study was to evaluate the radioprotective effect of EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), a green tea catechin on γ-radiation induced cell damage. Under acellular condition of radiation exposure, pBR322 plasmid DNA was protected by EGCG in a concentration dependent manner. Treatment of murine splenocytes with EGCG 2h prior to radiation (3Gy), protected the cellular DNA against radiation-induced strand breaks. EGCG also inhibited γ-radiation induced cell death in splenocytes. EGCG pretreatment to the cells decreased the radiation induced lipid peroxidation and membrane damage. The levels of phase II enzymes, glutathione and lactate dehydrogenase were restored with EGCG treatment prior to radiation. Our results show that pretreatment with EGCG offers protection to pBR322 DNA under acellular condition and normal splenocytes under cellular condition, against γ-radiation induced damage and is better radioprotector in comparison to quercetin and vitamin C.
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