Anti-allergic effect of tea-leaf saponin (TLS) from tea leaves (Camellia sinensis var. sinensis)

Biol Pharm Bull. 1997 May;20(5):565-7. doi: 10.1248/bpb.20.565.


We investigated the anti-allergic effect of tea-leaf saponin (TLS), which was a mixture of saponins separated from the leaves of Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, in guinea pigs and rats. TLS (20-100 mg/kg) dose-dependently inhibited experimentally-induced asthma, and ID50 was 61.7 mg/kg. TLS (20-100 mg/kg) dose-dependently inhibited a 48 h homologous PCA (passive cutaneous anaphylaxis) reaction, and the inhibitory effect was similar to that of tranilast. TLS (1-100 microg/ml) also inhibited the release of antigen-induced leukotriene (LT) C4 from sensitized guinea pig lung samples in a dose-dependent fashion, but did not prevent histamine release. TLS (0.01-0.5 microg/ml) inhibited histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells induced by compound 48/80. At higher concentrations, TLS elicited histamine release. These findings suggest that TLS may be a useful protective agent against clinical allergy, and that the inhibitory effects of TLS on mediator release are in some way related to its inhibitory effect on experimentally-induced asthma and PCA reaction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Airway Resistance / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Histamine Release / drug effects
  • Leukotriene C4 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / drug effects
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • Passive Cutaneous Anaphylaxis / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BN
  • Saponins / pharmacology*
  • Tea*
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates / pharmacology


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Saponins
  • Tea
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates
  • Leukotriene C4
  • tranilast