(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate suppresses cigarette smoke-induced inflammation in human cardiomyocytes via ROS-mediated MAPK and NF-κB pathways

Phytomedicine. 2019 May;58:152768. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.11.028. Epub 2018 Nov 20.


Background: Cigarette smoking is the leading cause for the initiation and development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Oxidative stress and inflammatory responses play important roles in the pathophysiological processes of smoking-induced cardiac injury. (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most abundant catechin in green tea, which is made from Camellia sinensis leaves, has been reported to possess potent anti-oxidant property.

Purpose: This study aims to investigate whether the antioxidant EGCG could alleviate cigarette smoke medium (CSM)-induced inflammation in human AC16 cardiomyocytes in vitro.

Methods: Human AC16 cardiomyocytes were pre-treated with EGCG, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), or specific inhibitors for 30 min before 4% CSM was added. Supernatant was collected for determination of interleukin (IL)-8 by ELISA and cells were collected for flow cytometry, biochemical assays and Western blot analysis.

Results: EGCG treatment significantly attenuated CSM-induced oxidative stress as evidenced by reducing intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generations and preventing antioxidant depletion. EGCG treatment reduced CSM-induced inflammatory chemokine interleukin (IL)-8 productions in the supernatant via the inhibition of ERK1/2, p38 MAPK and NF-κB pathways. EGCG treatment further inhibited CSM-induced cell apoptosis.

Conclusion: Taken together, EGCG protected against CSM-induced inflammation and cell apoptosis by attenuating oxidative stress via inhibiting ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, and NF-κB activation in AC16 cardiomyocytes. These findings suggest that EGCG with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties may act as a promising cardioprotective agent against ROS-mediated cardiac injury.

Keywords: (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate; Cardiomyocytes; Cigarette smoke; Inflammation; Oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects
  • Myocarditis / chemically induced
  • Myocarditis / drug therapy*
  • Myocarditis / pathology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / drug effects*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Smoking / adverse effects*


  • Antioxidants
  • CXCL8 protein, human
  • Interleukin-8
  • NF-kappa B
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate