Effects of green tea polyphenols on dopamine uptake and on MPP+-induced dopamine neuron injury

Tianhong Pan, Jian Fei, Xiaoda Zhou, Joseph Jankovic, Weidong Le

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


As antioxidants, polyphenols are considered to be potentially useful in preventing chronic diseases in man, including Parkinson's disease (PD), a disease involving dopamine (DA) neurons. Our studies have demonstrated that polyphenols extracted from green tea (GT) can inhibit the uptake of 3H-dopamine (3H-DA) and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) by DA transporters (DAT) and partially protect embryonic rat mesencephalic dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons from MPP+-induced injury. The inhibitory effects of GT polyphenols on 3H-DA uptake were determined in DAT-pCDNA3-transfected Chinese Hamster Ovary (DAT-CHO) cells and in striatal synaptosomes of C57BL/6 mice in vitro and in vivo. The inhibitory effects on 3H-MPP+ uptake were determined in primary cultures of embryonic rat mesencephalic DAergic cells. Inhibition of uptake for both 3H-DA and 3H-MPP+ was dose-dependent in the presence of polyphenols. Incubation with 50 μM MPP+ resulted in a significant loss of tyrosine-hydroxylase (TH)-positive cells in the primary embryonic mesencephalic cultures, while pretreatment with polyphenols (10 to 30 μg/ml) or mazindol (10 μM), a classical DAT inhibitor, significantly attenuated MPP+-induced loss of TH-positive cells. These results suggest that GT polyphenols have inhibitory effects on DAT, through which they block MPP+ uptake and protect DAergic neurons against MPP+-induced injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1083
Number of pages11
JournalLife sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 17 2003


  • 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium
  • Dopamine transporter
  • Green tea
  • Neuroprotection
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Polyphenols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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