Effect of methylated tea catechins from Chinese oolong tea on the proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocyte

Fitoterapia. 2015 Jul;104:45-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2015.05.007. Epub 2015 May 22.


As the important component of tea catechins in oolong tea, (-)-epigallocatechin 3-O-(3-O-methyl) gallate (EGCG3″Me) has exhibited various beneficial effects, however, little attention about its obesity prevention effect is available. In this study, the inhibitory effects of tea catechin monomers, including their methylated forms on the proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocyte were studied. The major methylated tea catechins in oolong tea were identified as EGCG3″Me and ECG3″Me. The accumulation of triglyceride was significantly reduced in a concentration-dependent manner in groups treated with EGCG3″Me at concentrations of 20, 40 and 80μg/mL, and the accumulation of lipid was decreased to 89.42±2.66%, 64.36±3.13% and 39.37±2.79%, respectively. Both EGCG3″Me and EGCG treatments showed a significant inhibitory effect on adipogenesis, while EGCG3″Me showed a relatively higher effect than EGCG, which was contrary to the results of cytotoxic activity. For ECG and ECG3″Me, ECG3″Me also showed a relatively higher antiobesity effect and lower cytotoxic activity. The results of activity screening showed that methylated tea catechins, including EGCG3″Me and ECG3″Me inhibited the proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocyte. The difference of inhibitory effects for tested compounds may be due to their structural difference (the hydroxyl group at C-3 in D ring substituted by methoxy group).

Keywords: (−)-Epigallocatechin gallate (PubChem CID: 65064); 3T3-L1 preadipocyte; Antiobesity; Epicatechin-3-gallate (PubChem CID: 107905); Epigallocatechin 3-O-(3-O-methyl) gallate (PubChem CID: 72941609); Methylated tea catechins; Oolong tea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Gallic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Gallic Acid / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Tea
  • Gallic Acid
  • epigallocatechin-3-O-(3''-O-methyl)-gallate