Effects of oral consumption of the green tea polyphenol EGCG in a murine model for human Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease

Kevin Gillespie, Isamu Kodani, Douglas P. Dickinson, Kalu U.E. Ogbureke, Amy M. Camba, Mengjie Wu, Stephen Warwick Looney, Tin Chun Chu, Haiyan Qin, Frederick Bisch, Mohamed M.H. Sharawy, George S. Schuster, Stephen Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Significance: Protection of glandular cells from autoimmune-induced damage would be of significant clinical benefit to Sjogren's syndrome (SS) patients. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) possesses anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and autoantigen-inhibitory properties. Aims: To investigate if EGCG protects against certain autoimmune-induced pathological changes in the salivary glands of the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model for SS. Main methods: Animals were provided with either water or water containing 0.2% EGCG. At the age of 8, 16 and 22 weeks, submandibular salivary gland tissue and serum samples were collected for pathological and serological analysis. Key findings: Significant lymphocyte infiltration was observed in the salivary glands of the water-fed group at the age of 16 weeks, while the EGCG group showed reduced lymphocyte infiltration. By 22 weeks of age, water-fed animals demonstrated elevated levels of apoptotic activity within the lymphocytic infiltrates, and high levels of serum total anti-nuclear antibody, compared to EGCG-fed animals. Remarkably, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and Ki-67 levels in the salivary glands of water-fed NOD mice were significantly elevated in comparison to BALB/c control mice; in contrast, PCNA and Ki-67 levels in EGCG-fed NOD animals were similar to BALB/c mice. These results indicate that EGCG protects the NOD mouse submandibular glands from autoimmune-induced inflammation, and reduces serum autoantibody levels. Abnormal proliferation, rather than apoptosis, appears to be a characteristic of the NOD mouse gland that is normalized by EGCG. The evidence suggests that EGCG could be useful in delaying or managing SS-like autoimmune disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-588
Number of pages8
JournalLife sciences
Issue number17-18
StatePublished - Oct 24 2008


  • Autoimmune disease
  • EGCG
  • Green tea
  • Non-obese diabetic mice
  • Sjogren's syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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