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(-)-Epigallocatechin gallate, the main constituent of Japanese green tea, inhibits tumor promotion of okadaic acid

Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi 1996 Oct;87(10):215-21    

Yoshizawa S
First Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka.

(-)-Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the main constituent of green tea, inhibited a tumor promoting activity of okadaic acid in a two-stage carcinogenesis experiment on mouse skin. The group treated with a single application of 100 micrograms 7, 12-dimethylbenz (a) anthracene followed by repeated applications of 1 microgram okadaic acid resulted in 80% of tumor-bearing mice and 4.7 of average numbers of tumors per mouse in week 20. Repeated applications of 5 mg EGCG, prior to okadaic acid, completely inhibited the tumor formation in mice up to week 20. The inhibitory effects of EGCG with two different doses of each application, 1 mg and 5 mg, were dose-dependent. A topical application of 5 mg EGCG immediately reduced the specific binding of [3H]okadaic acid to a particulate fraction of mouse skin to as low as 30% of control. According to the Scatchard analysis, the reduction of specific [3H]okadaic acid binding was mainly due to the reduction of the binding sites, not due to the change of the affinity. The reduction of the specific binding was closely related to the inhibitory effct of EGCG on tumor promotion of okadaic acid. Since EGCG is a non-toxic compound, ingested in green tea in daily life in Japan, EGCG is one of the candidates for practical cancer chemopreventive agents.

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