Protective effect of l-theanine on chronic restraint stress-induced cognitive impairments in mice

Brain Res. 2013 Mar 29:1503:24-32. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.01.048. Epub 2013 Feb 5.


The present work was aimed to study the protective effect of l-theanine on chronic restraint stress (CRS)-induced cognitive impairments in mice. The stress was produced by restraining the animals in well-ventilated polypropylene tubes (3.2 cm in diameter ×10.5 cm in length) for 8h once daily for 21 consecutive days. L-theanine (2 and 4 mg/kg) was administered 30 min before the animals subjected to acute immobilized stress. At week 4, mice were subjected to Morris water maze and step-through tests to measure the cognitive function followed by oxidative parameters and corticosterone as well as catecholamines (norepinephrine and dopamine) subsequently. Our results showed that the cognitive performances in CRS group were markedly deteriorated, accompanied by noticeable alterations in oxidative parameters and catecholamine levels in the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex as well as corticosterone and catecholamine levels in the serum. However, not only did l-theanine treatment exhibit a reversal of the cognitive impairments and oxidative damage induced by CRS, but also reversed the abnormal level of corticosterone in the serum as well as the abnormal levels of catecholamines in the brain and the serum. This study indicated the protective effect of l-theanine against CRS-induced cognitive impairments in mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Corticosterone / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glutamates / therapeutic use*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Restraint, Physical / adverse effects*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Glutamates
  • theanine
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione
  • Dopamine
  • Corticosterone
  • Norepinephrine