White tea and its active polyphenols lower cholesterol through reduction of very-low-density lipoprotein production and induction of LDLR expression

Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Jul:127:110146. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110146. Epub 2020 Apr 22.


Emerging in vivo and vitro data suggest that white tea extract (WTE) is capable of favourably modulating metabolic syndrome, especially by ameliorating abnormal lipid metabolism. Microarray-based gene expression profiling was performed in HepG2 cells to analyze the effects of WTE from a systematic perspective. Gene Ontology and pathway analysis revealed that WTE significantly affected pathways related to lipid metabolism. WTE significantly downregulated apolipoprotein B (APOB) and microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTTP) expression and thereby reduced the production of very-low-density lipoprotein. In the meanwhile, WTE stimulated low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c) uptake through targeting low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), as a consequence of the activation of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 2 (SREBP2) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ (PPARδ). Furthermore, WTE significantly downregulated triglycerides synthetic genes and reduced intracellular triglycerides accumulation. Besides, we demonstrated that the tea catechins epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG) are abundant in WTE and contribute to the regulation of cholesterol metabolism related genes, including LDLR, MTTP and APOB. Our findings suggest white tea plays important roles in ameliorating abnormal lipid metabolism in vitro.

Keywords: APOB; LDLR; Lipid metabolism; MTTP; Microarray; PPARδ; White tea extract.

MeSH terms

  • Apolipoproteins B / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / blood*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Polyphenols / isolation & purification
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, LDL / genetics
  • Tea / chemistry*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • LDLR protein, human
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL
  • Polyphenols
  • Receptors, LDL
  • Tea
  • Triglycerides
  • microsomal triglyceride transfer protein
  • Cholesterol