• green tea polyphenol;
  • nitric oxide;
  • tumor necrosis factor;
  • Parkinson disease;
  • tyrosine hydroxylase


Microglial activation is believed to play a pivotal role in the selective neuronal injury associated with several neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease. We provide evidence that (−)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a major monomer of green tea polyphenols, potently inhibits lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated microglial secretion of nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) through the down-regulation of inducible NO synthase and TNF-α expression. In addition, EGCG exerted significant protection against microglial activation-induced neuronal injury both in the human dopaminergic cell line SH-SY5Y and in primary rat mesencephalic cultures. Our study demonstrates that EGCG is a potent inhibitor of microglial activation and thus is a useful candidate for a therapeutic approach to alleviating microglia-mediated dopaminergic neuronal injury in PD. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.