Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Analysis of the effect of the active compound of green tea (EGCG) on the proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Farid Saleh1*, Raj Raghupathy2, Sami Asfar3, Medhat Oteifa4 and Noha Al-Saleh4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

2 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

3 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

4 Department of Surgery, Kuwait Cancer Control Centre, Kuwait City, Kuwait

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:322  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-322

Published: 30 August 2014

Abstract

Background

Cancer immunotherapy requires proper manipulation of the immune system, lymphocytes in particular, in order to identify and destroy the cancer cells as non-self. In this study we investigated the effect of the flavonoid present in green tea, namely epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), on the proliferation of, and IFN-γ production by, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from breast cancer patients stimulated with a mitogen, anti-CD3 and the common breast cancer peptides Her-2/neu, and p53.

Methods

Blood samples were collected from 25 patients with breast cancer at the Kuwait Cancer Control Centre (KCCC). The patients were newly diagnosed, and had not undergone any treatment or surgery at the time of sample collection. The control group consisted of 25 healthy women age-matched (±5 years) to the patients. PBMC were isolated from the patients and controls, and were cultured separately with the mitogen PHA, anti-CD3 antibodies, and Her-2/neu and p53 in the presence or absence of standardized doses of EGCG. The degree of proliferation and interferon-γ [IFN-γ) release were then analyzed.

Results

EGCG significantly suppressed the proliferation of PBMC in response to stimulation separately with (i) the mitogen, (ii) anti-CD3, and (iii) the cancer antigen peptides. IFN-γ production was also significantly suppressed by EGCG in vitro.

Conclusions

EGCG appears to have an immunosuppressive effect on the proliferation of PBMC, indicating that EGCG is worth exploring for immunomodulatory effects in autoimmune diseases and tissue transplantation.

Keywords:
EGCG; PBMC; IFN-γ; Green tea