Open Access Research article

Polyphenols of Camellia sinenesis decrease mortality, hepatic injury and generation of cytokines and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species after hemorrhage/resuscitation in rats

Mark Lehnert2, Henrik Lind12, Zhi Zhong1, Robert Schoonhoven4, Ingo Marzi2 and John J Lemasters13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, 280 Calhoun Street, Charleston, 29425, SC, USA

2 Department of Trauma Surgery, J.W. Goethe University, Theodor Stern Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt/Main, Germany

3 Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, 280 Calhoun Street, Charleston, 29425, SC, USA

4 Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 148 Rosenau Hall, Chapel Hill, 27599 NC, USA

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2010, 10:46  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-10-46

Published: 24 August 2010



Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are produced during hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation (H/R), which may contribute to multiple organ failure. The Aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that green tea (Camellia sinenesis) extract containing 85% polyphenols decreases injury after H/R in rats by scavenging ROS and RNS.


Female Sprague Dawley rats were given 100 mg polyphenol extract/kg body weight or vehicle 2 h prior to hemorrhagic shock. H/R was induced by two protocols: 1) withdrawal of blood to a mean arterial pressure of 40 mm Hg followed by further withdrawals to decrease blood pressure progressively to 28 mm Hg over 1 h (severe), and 2) withdrawal of blood to a sustained hypotension of 40 mm Hg for 1 h (moderate). Rats were then resuscitated over 1 h with 60% of the shed blood volume plus twice the shed blood volume of lactated Ringer's solution. Serum samples were collected at 10 min and 2 h after resuscitation. At 2 or 18 h, livers were harvested for cytokine and 3-nitrotyrosine quantification, immunohistochemical detection of 4-hydroxynonenol (4-HNE) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein expression.


After severe H/R, 18-h survival increased from 20% after vehicle to 70% after polyphenols (p < 0.05). After moderate H/R, survival was greater (80%) and not different between vehicle and polyphenols. In moderate H/R, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) increased at 10 min and 2 h postresuscitation to 345 and 545 IU/L, respectively. Polyphenol treatment blunted this increase to 153 and 252 IU/L at 10 min and 2 h (p < 0.01). Polyphenols also blunted increases in liver homogenates of TNFα (7.0 pg/mg with vehicle vs. 4.9 pg/mg with polyphenols, p < 0.05), IL-1β (0.80 vs. 0.37 pg/mg, p < 0.05), IL-6 (6.9 vs. 5.1 pg/mg, p < 0.05) and nitrotyrosine (1.9 pg/mg vs. 0.6 pg/mg, p < 0.05) measured 18 h after H/R. Hepatic 4-HNE immunostaining indicative of lipid peroxidation also decreased from 4.8% after vehicle to 1.5% after polyphenols (p < 0.05). By contrast, polyphenols did not block increased iNOS expression at 2 h after H/R.


Polyphenols decrease ROS/RNS formation and are beneficial after hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation.