Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery

, Volume 397, Issue 3, pp 467–474 | Cite as

Green tea protects human osteoblasts from cigarette smoke-induced injury: possible clinical implication

  • Nina Holzer
  • Karl F. Braun
  • Sabrina Ehnert
  • José T. Egaña
  • Thilo L. Schenck
  • Arne Buchholz
  • Lilianna Schyschka
  • Markus Neumaier
  • Steffen Benzing
  • Ulrich Stöckle
  • Thomas Freude
  • Andreas K. NusslerEmail author
Original Article



Recent reports discuss the altered bone homeostasis in cigarette smokers, being a risk factor for osteoporosis and negatively influencing fracture healing. Cigarette smoke is known to induce oxidative stress in the body via an increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These increases in ROS are thought to damage the bone-forming osteoblasts. Naturally occurring polyphenols contained in green tea extract (GTE), e.g., catechins, are known to have anti-oxidative properties. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether GTE and especially catechins protect primary human osteoblasts from cigarette smoke-induced damage and to identify the underlying mechanisms.


Primary human osteoblasts were isolated from patients’ femur heads. Cigarette smoke medium (CSM) was obtained using a gas-washing bottle and standardized by its optical density (OD320) at λ = 320 nm. ROS formation was measured using 2′7′dichlorofluorescein diacetate, and osteoblasts’ viability was detected by resazurin conversion.


Co-, pre-, and post-incubation with GTE and catechins significantly reduced ROS formation and thus improved the viability of CSM-treated osteoblasts. Besides GTE’s direct radical scavenging properties, pre-incubation with both GTE and catechins protected osteoblasts from CSM-induced damage. Inhibition of the anti-oxidative enzyme HO-1 significantly reduced the protective effect of GTE and catechins emphasizing the key role of this enzyme in GTE anti-oxidative effect.


Our data suggest possible beneficial effects on bone homeostasis, fracture healing, and bone mineral density following a GTE-rich diet or supplementation.


Green tea extract Catechins Cigarette smoke medium Oxidative stress HO-1 Primary human osteoblasts 


Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina Holzer
    • 1
  • Karl F. Braun
    • 1
  • Sabrina Ehnert
    • 2
  • José T. Egaña
    • 3
    • 4
  • Thilo L. Schenck
    • 3
  • Arne Buchholz
    • 1
  • Lilianna Schyschka
    • 1
  • Markus Neumaier
    • 1
  • Steffen Benzing
    • 5
  • Ulrich Stöckle
    • 2
  • Thomas Freude
    • 2
  • Andreas K. Nussler
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Traumatology, MRITechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.BG Trauma CenterEberhard Karls Universität TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand SurgeryTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  4. 4.FONDAP Center for Genome Regulation, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  5. 5.Fresenius Kabi GmbHOberurselGermany

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