British Journal of Nutrition

Short Communication

Green tea extract selectively activates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ in cultured cardiomyocytes

Francesca Danesia1, Mattia Di Nunzioa1, Elisa Boschettia1 and Alessandra Bordonia1 c1

a1 Research Centre on Nutrition and Vitamins, Department of Biochemistry ‘G. Moruzzi’, University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy


Hypoxia/reoxygenation is one of the causes of the increased expression of inducible NO synthase in cardiomyocytes. In a recent study we demonstrated that a single, high dose of green tea extract (GT) supplemented to the medium of cultured cardiomyocytes just before hypoxia/reoxygenation is able to prevent the increased expression of inducible NO synthase, therefore reducing NO overproduction. In the present study we investigated the mechanism by which GT reduces NO production. Since a molecular mechanism for polyphenol activity has been postulated, and PPAR activation is related to the transcription of the inducible NO synthase gene, we evaluated the activation of PPAR by GT. A moderate GT concentration, supplemented to the cardiomyocyte medium since the initial seeding, selectively activated the PPAR-β/δ isoform. Furthermore, we observed a reduction in NO production and an increase in total antioxidant activity, indicating that GT components may act on both reactive oxygen species, via an antioxidant mechanism, and NO overproduction. PPAR-β/δ activation could represent the key event in the reduction of NO production by GT. Although PPAR activation by GT was lower than activation by fenofibrate, it is very interesting to note that it was selective for the β/δ isoform, at least in neonatal cardiomyocytes.

(Received June 04 2008)

(Revised September 10 2008)

(Accepted September 29 2008)

(Online publication December 05 2008)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr Alessandra Bordoni, fax +39 051 2091235, email


Abbreviations: EGCG, epigallocatechin-3-gallate; GT, green tea extract