Green tea is an infusion of unfermented leaves of Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze (Theaceae), traditionally used for the treatment of obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and gastric complaints. This study evaluated the mechanisms involved in the gastric ulcer healing of the hydroalcoholic extract from green tea (GEt), its ethyl acetate fraction, (GEAc) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) using the model of acetic acid-induced gastric ulcer in rats. The chronic gastric ulcer was induced by application of 80 % acetic acid on serosal mucosa of rats. After 7 days of oral treatment with GEt and GEAc, the ulcer area, mucin content, inflammatory parameters (MPO and NAG), and antioxidant system (GSH and LOOH levels, SOD and GST activities) were evaluated. In vitro, the scavenging activity of GEt and GEAc were also measured. The antisecretory action was studied on the pylorus ligature method in rats. Oral treatment with GEt and GEAc reduced significantly the gastric ulcer area induced by acetic acid. The gastric ulcer healing was accompanied by increasing of mucin content, restoration of GSH levels and SOD activity, and reduction of MPO and LOOH levels. In addition, GEt and GEAc reduced the DPPH free radicals in vitro. Furthermore, the oral treatment of animals with GEt and GEAc did not alter the gastric acid secretion or cause signs of toxicity. Collectively, these results showed that GEt had a pronounced antiulcer effect, possibly through maintenance of mucin content and reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress. In addition, the compounds present in its ethyl acetate fraction could be responsible for the extract activity.
Keywords: Camellia sinensis; Gastric ulcer healing; Green tea; Mucin.