, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 776-783
Date: 17 Oct 2007

Promotion of Neuronal Plasticity by (−)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate

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Abstract

The consumption of (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major polyphenolic compound found in green tea, has been associated with various neurological benefits including cognitive improvement. The physiological basis for this effect is unknown. In this study, we used synaptic transmission between the CA3 and CA1 regions (Schaffer collateral) of the mouse hippocampus to examine the effects of EGCG on neuronal plasticity. We found that the level of high frequency stimulation-evoked long-term potentiation (LTP) was significantly enhanced when hippocampal slices were pre-incubated with 10 μM EGCG for 1 h prior to the experiment. EGCG incubation also enabled hippocampal slices prepared from Ts65Dn mice, a Down syndrome mouse model deficient in LTP, to express LTP to a level comparable to the normal controls. EGCG treatment did not alter the degree of pair-pulse inhibition; therefore, the enhancement effect of EGCG is unlikely to involve the attenuation of this inhibitory mechanism.