Abstract Title:

Inhibitory effects of l-theanine on airway inflammation in ovalbumin-induced allergic asthma.

Abstract Source:

Food Chem Toxicol. 2017 Jan ;99:162-169. Epub 2016 Nov 29. PMID: 27908701

Abstract Author(s):

Yong Pil Hwang, Sun Woo Jin, Jae Ho Choi, Chul Yung Choi, Hyung Gyun Kim, Se Jong Kim, Yongan Kim, Kyung Jin Lee, Young Chul Chung, Hye Gwang Jeong

Article Affiliation:

Yong Pil Hwang


l-theanine, a water-soluble amino acid isolated from green tea (Camellia sinensis), has anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidative properties, and hepatoprotective effects. However, the anti-allergic effect of l-theanine and its underlying molecular mechanisms have not been elucidated. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of l-theanine on asthmatic responses, particularly airway inflammation and oxidative stress modulation in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced murine model of asthma. Treatment with l-theanine dramatically attenuated the extensive trafficking of inflammatory cells into bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Histological studies revealed that l-theanine significantly inhibited OVA-induced mucus production and inflammatory cell infiltration in the respiratory tract and blood vessels. l-theanine administration also significantly decreased the production of IgE, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-13, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and interferon-gamma in BALF. The lung weight decreased with l-theanine administration. l-theanine also markedly attenuated the OVA-induced generation of reactive oxygen species and the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and matrix metalloprotease-9 in BALF. Moreover, l-theanine reduced the TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation in A549 cells. Together, these results suggest that l-theanine alleviates airway inflammation in asthma, which likely occurs via the oxidative stress-responsive NF-κB pathway, highlighting its potential as a useful therapeutic agent for asthma management.

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