The Hypocholesterolemic Effect of Green Tea EGCG Was Not Mediated Via the Stimulation of the Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor Gene Expression in Cholesterol-Fed Rats

  • Moon Hee-Jung (Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Kim Yangha (Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Ewha Womans University)
  • Published : 2005.08.01


Green tea, which has high polyphenols amount, is thought to have hypocholesterolemic effects. The present study was performed to further examine the hypocholesterolemic action of green tea, especially (-) epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) for its effect on diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=15) were fed a green tea-free diet (control), $1.0\%$ green tea catechin (catechin) or $0.5\%$ green tea catechin EGCG for seven weeks. Hypercholesterolemia was induced by adding $1\%$ cholesterol and $0.5\%$ cholic acid to all diets. There was no difference in food intake and body weight gain among the groups. The green tea EGCG treatment led to a significant improvement in plasma levels of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and high density lipoprotein (HDL)/LDL ratio (p<0.05). There was no significant effect on the plasma HDL-cholesterol level. The catechin treatment led to a 4.19-fold increase in the LDL-receptor mRNA level compared to the control, but the EGCG treatment did not affect the hepatic LDL-receptor mRNA level. Our results suggest that when blood cholesterol level is down-regulated by green tea EGCG, the LDL receptor gene-independent pathway may dominate the hypocholesterolemic action of EGCG.


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