Matcha Tea Powder's Antidepressant-like Effect through the Activation of the Dopaminergic System in Mice Is Dependent on Social Isolation Stress

Nutrients. 2023 Jan 22;15(3):581. doi: 10.3390/nu15030581.


Matcha tea powder is believed to have various physiological benefits; however, its detailed mechanism of action has been poorly understood. Here, we investigated whether the mental state of mice, due to social isolation stress, affects the antidepressant-like effect of Matcha tea powder by using the tail suspension test. Oral administration of Matcha tea powder reduced the duration of immobility in the stress-susceptible C57BL/6J strain, but not in BALB/c strain. In C57BL/6J mice, SCH23390, a dopamine D1 receptor blocker, prevented Matcha tea powder from exerting its antidepressant-like effect. Matcha tea powder also increased the number of c-Fos-positive cells in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) region and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) region in C57BL/6J mice, but not in BALB/c mice. In contrast, Matcha tea powder did not change the number of c-Fos-positive cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) region. Notably, C57BL/6J mice with a shorter immobility time had a higher number of c-Fos-positive cells in the PFC, NAc, and VTA regions. However, no such correlation was observed in the stress-tolerant BALB/c mice. These results suggest that Matcha tea powder exerts an antidepressant-like effect through the activation of the dopaminergic system including the PFC-NAc-VTA circuit and that mental states are important factors affecting the physiological benefits of Matcha tea powder.

Keywords: BALB/c; C57BL/6J; Matcha; depression; dopaminergic circuit.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants
  • Dopamine*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Powders
  • Social Isolation
  • Tea


  • Powders
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Dopamine
  • Antioxidants
  • Tea