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Concentrated Extract of Green Tea Polyphenols Enhances the Toxicity of the Elderberry Lectin Nigrin b to Mice

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DOI: 10.4236/fns.2014.55055    3,855 Downloads   5,252 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The effect of the administration of large amounts of green tea polyphenols is a matter of controversy. We explored whether a polyphenol mixture from a concentrated green tea extract (Polyphenon 60) could alter the effects on mice of the type 2 (two chains) ribosome-inactivating protein nigrin b isolated from Sambucus nigra L. Nigrin b triggers specific reversible toxic effects on the mouse intestines featured by apoptosis of mice Lieberkühn crypt cells upon parenteral administration of sub-lethal amounts. Independent administration to mice of 30 mg/kg body weight of Polyphenon 60 by oral gavage or 10 mg/kg body weight of nigrin b administered via the intraperitoneal route (i.p.) did not affect survival. In contrast, the simultaneous treatment greatly enhanced nigrin b toxicity leading to the death of some animals. The histological analysis revealed that the most serious injury was inflicted on the small intestine crypts, which disappeared, and on the liver, which evidenced hepatotoxicity showing haemorrhagic areas. These findings raise concerns about the abuse of high concentrations of green tea polyphenols especially when the intestinal mucosa is damaged, for instance by toxins or therapeutic drugs.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Jiménez, P. , Cabrero, P. , Tejero, J. , Gayoso, M. , Garrosa, M. , Cordoba-Diaz, D. , Cordoba-Diaz, M. and Girbés, T. (2014) Concentrated Extract of Green Tea Polyphenols Enhances the Toxicity of the Elderberry Lectin Nigrin b to Mice. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 466-471. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.55055.

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