Epigallocatechin gallate inhibits hepatitis B virus infection in human liver chimeric mice

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Sep 6;18(1):248. doi: 10.1186/s12906-018-2316-4.


Background: Persistent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection causes liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma and constitutes a major worldwide health problem. Currently, anti-HBV drugs are limited to peginterferon and nucleos(t)ide analogs, which are costly and have considerable side effects; the development of novel, effective anti-HBV agents is crucial.

Methods: Catechins are a major group of compounds found in green tea extract and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been shown to have antiviral properties, including inhibition of cellular entry by HBV. FRG (Fah-/-/ Rag2-/-/ IL-2Rγ/-) mice were used in this study to generate chimeras carrying human primary hepatocytes, to facilitate investigation of the inhibitory effect of EGCG on HBV infection.

Results: Here, we show the inhibitory effect of EGCG on HBV infection and replication in HuS-E/2 cells. The inhibitory effect of EGCG on HBV infection in vivo was confirmed by monitoring HBV DNA and HBsAg in serum and immunostaining the liver tissues of the human liver chimeric mice.

Conclusions: The effects of EGCG suggest a robust strategy for the treatment of HBV infection and EGCG may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of HBV-associated liver diseases.

Keywords: EGCG; HBsAg; Hepatitis B virus; Human liver chimeric mice.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Female
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / blood
  • Hepatitis B virus / drug effects*
  • Hepatitis B* / immunology
  • Hepatitis B* / virology
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / virology
  • Mice
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • DNA, Viral
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate