Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 119, Issue 8, pp 877–890 | Cite as

(−)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate increases the number of neural stem cells around the damaged area after rat traumatic brain injury

  • Tatsuki ItohEmail author
  • Motohiro Imano
  • Shozo Nishida
  • Masahiro Tsubaki
  • Nobuyuki Mizuguchi
  • Shigeo Hashimoto
  • Akihiko Ito
  • Takao Satou
Basic Neurosciences, Genetics and Immunology - Original Article


A major component of green tea is (−)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has strong antioxidant properties. Here, we investigated the effect of EGCG on neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation around the damaged area following traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this study, male Wistar rats that had access to normal drinking water, or water containing 0.1% (w/v) EGCG, ad libitum received TBI at 10 weeks of age. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the number of nestin-positive cells around the damaged area after TBI in the EGCG treatment group increased significantly compared with the normal water group (P < 0.05). However, the number of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine-, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-, single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-positive cells and the level of peroxidation around the damaged area after TBI significantly decreased in the EGCG treatment group when compared with the water group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, in contrast to the EGCG group, almost all ssDNA-positive cells in the water group co-localized with NeuN and nestin-staining. Ex vivo studies revealed that spheres could only be isolated from injured brain tissue in the water group at 3 days following TBI. However, in the EGCG group, spheres could be isolated at both 3 and 7 days following TBI. A greater number of spheres could be isolated from the EGCG group, which differentiated into neurons and glia in culture without basic fibroblast growth factor. These results indicate that consumption of water containing EGCG pre- and post-TBI inhibits free radical-induced degradation of NSCs, which have the potential to differentiate into neurons and glia around the area of damage following TBI.


Neural stem cell Traumatic brain injury Nestin Neurosphere Catechin 



This work was supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (21500803). The authors thank Mari Yachi for technical assistance.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatsuki Itoh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Motohiro Imano
    • 2
  • Shozo Nishida
    • 3
  • Masahiro Tsubaki
    • 3
  • Nobuyuki Mizuguchi
    • 4
  • Shigeo Hashimoto
    • 5
  • Akihiko Ito
    • 1
  • Takao Satou
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PathologyKinki University Faculty of MedicineOsakasayamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryKinki University School of MedicineOsaka-SayamaJapan
  3. 3.Kinki University Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesOsakaJapan
  4. 4.Life Science Research Institute, Kinki UniversityOsakaJapan
  5. 5.Division of HospitalPL HospitalOsakaJapan
  6. 6.Division of Hospital PathologyHospital of Kinki University Faculty of MedicineOsakaJapan

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