Persimmon-derived tannin has bacteriostatic and anti-inflammatory activity in a murine model of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease

PLoS One. 2017 Aug 21;12(8):e0183489. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183489. eCollection 2017.


Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), including Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), cause opportunistic chronic pulmonary infections. Notably, MAC susceptibility is regulated by various factors, including the host immune system. Persimmon (Ebenaceae Diospyros kaki Thunb.) tannin is a condensed tannin composed of a polymer of catechin groups. It is well known that condensed tannins have high antioxidant activity and bacteriostatic properties. However, it is hypothesized that condensed tannins might need to be digested and/or fermented into smaller molecules in vivo prior to being absorbed into the body to perform beneficial functions. In this study, we evaluated the effects of soluble persimmon-derived tannins on opportunistic MAC disease. Soluble tannins were hydrolyzed and evaluated by the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) method. The ORAC value of soluble tannin hydrolysate was approximately five times greater than that of soluble tannin powder. In addition, soluble tannin hydrolysate exhibited high bacteriostatic activity against MAC in vitro. Furthermore, in an in vivo study, MAC infected mice fed a soluble tannin-containing diet showed significantly higher anti-bacterial activity against MAC and less pulmonary granuloma formation compared with those fed a control diet. Tumor necrosis factor α and inducible nitric oxide synthase levels were significantly lower in lungs of the soluble tannin diet group compared with the control diet group. Moreover, proinflammatory cytokines induced by MAC stimulation of bone marrow-derived macrophages were significantly decreased by addition of soluble tannin hydrolysate. These data suggest that soluble tannin from persimmons might attenuate the pathogenesis of pulmonary NTM infection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Diospyros / chemistry*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection / drug therapy*
  • Tannins / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Tannins

Grant support

This research was supported by grants obtained for the joint-research project from Kio University (No. 22985), and Research Grant Activities for Yamato Kampo Medicine from Nara Medical University (No. 27-2). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.