Prevention of UVB-induced immunosuppression in mice by the green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate may be associated with alterations in IL-10 and IL-12 production.


Katiyar SK, Challa A, McCormick TS






UV exposure of the skin, particularly UVB (290-320 nm), causes adverse biological effects, including alterations in cutaneous immune cells, photoaging and photocarcinogenesis. Several studies have shown that polyphenolic compounds isolated from green tea afford protection against UVB-induced inflammatory responses and photocarcinogenesis in murine models. In this study we show that topical application of (-)- epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) (3 mg/mouse), a major polyphenolic component of green tea, before a single low dose UVB exposure (72 mJ/cm(2)) to C3H/HeN mice prevented UVB-induced inhibition of the contact hypersensitivity response and tolerance induction to the contact sensitizer 2, 4-dinitrofluorobenzene. Topical application of EGCG before UVB exposure reduced the number of CD11b+ monocytes/macrophages and neutrophils infiltrating into skin inflammatory lesions, which are considered to be responsible for creating the UV-induced immunosuppressive state. In addition, application of EGCG before UVB exposure decreased UVB-induced production of the immunomodulatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 in skin as well as in draining lymph nodes (DLN), whereas production of IL-12, which is considered to be a mediator and adjuvant for induction of contact sensitivity, was found to be markedly increased in DLN when compared with UVB alone-exposed mice. Taken together, our data demonstrate that EGCG protects against UVB-induced immunosuppression and tolerance induction by: (i) blocking UVB- induced infiltration of CD11b+ cells into the skin; (ii) reducing IL- 10 production in skin as well as in DLN; (iii) markedly increasing IL- 12 production in DLN. Protection against UVB-induced immunosuppression by EGCG may be associated with protection against UVB-induced photocarcinogenesis.