The Effects of Theanine, as a Novel Biochemical Modulator, on the Antitumor Activity of Adriamycin


Sadzuka Y




Cancer Lett


We studied the effects of theanine, a component of green tea leaves, on the antitumor activity of adriamycin (ADR) from the biochemical modulation view point. In vitro, theanine inhibited the ADR efflux from Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells and maintained the ADR concentration in tumor cells. Theanine enhanced the inhibitory effect of ADR on tumor growth by 2.1-fold in vivo, and increased 2.9-fold the ADR concentration in the tumor, compared to the ADR alone group. An increase in ADR concentration was not observed in normal tissues, such as the heart and liver. Theanine did not enhance, rather tended to normalize the increase of lipid peroxide level and reduction of glutathione peroxidase activity as indicators of the ADR-induced side toxicity.