Xanthine-Catechin Mixture Enhances Lithium-Induced Anti-Inflammatory Response in Activated Macrophages In Vitro

Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:4151594. doi: 10.1155/2017/4151594. Epub 2017 Nov 8.


Lithium (Li) is a chemical element used for treating and preventing bipolar disorder (BD) and exerts positive effects such as anti-inflammatory effects as well as undesirable side effects. These effects of Li can be influenced by interaction with some nutritional elements. Therefore, we investigated the potential effects of xanthine (caffeine and theobromine) and catechin molecules present in some food beverages broadly consumed worldwide, such as coffee and tea, on Li-induced anti-inflammatory effects. In the present study, we concomitantly exposed RAW 264.7 macrophages to Li, isolated xanthine and catechin molecules, and a xanthine-catechin mixture (XC mixture). We evaluated the effects of these treatments on cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, oxidative and antioxidant marker expression, cytokine levels, gene expression, and GSK-3β enzyme expression. Treatment with the XC mixture potentialized Li-induced anti-inflammatory effects by intensification of the following: GSK-3β inhibitory action, lowering effect on proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNFα), and increase in the levels of IL-10 that is an anti-inflammatory cytokine. Despite the controversial nature of caffeine consumption by BD patients, these results suggested that consumption of caffeine, in low concentrations, mixed with other bioactive molecules along with Li may be safe.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Synergism
  • Lithium / pharmacology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Xanthine / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Xanthine
  • Catechin
  • Lithium