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Chengjian Li, Haiou Tong, Qiongxian Yan, Shaoxun Tang, Xuefeng Han, Wenjun Xiao, Zhiliang Tan
(National Research Center of Engineering Technology for Utilization of Botanical Functional Ingredients from Botanicals, Provincial Co-Innovation Center for Utilization of Botanical Function Ingredients, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, Hunan, China (mainland))
Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:662-669
This study aimed to investigate the regulatory effects of L-theanine on secretion of immune cytokines, hormones, and neurotransmitters, and mRNA expression of phospholipase C (PLC) in rats, and to explore its regulatory mechanism in immune function.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixty-four Sprague-Dawley rats received daily intragastric infusion of different doses of L-theanine solution [0, 50 (LT), 200 (MT), and 400 (HT) mg/kg BW]. Cytokines, immunoglobulins, and hormones in the serum, neurotransmitters, and mRNA expression of PLC in the relevant tissues were assayed.
RESULTS: L-theanine administration increased the splenic organ index and decreased the contents of ILs-4/6/10 and the ratio of IL-4/IFN-γ in the serum. High-dose L-theanine administration increased the levels of dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine in the pituitary and hippocampus, resulting in decrease in corticosterone level in the serum. L-theanine administration decreased the mRNA expressions of PLC isomers in the liver and PLC-γ1 and PLC-δ1 in the spleen. Interestingly, mRNA expressions of PLC-β1 in the spleen and PLC isomers mRNA in the heart were up-regulated by L-theanine administration.
CONCLUSIONS: Administration of 400 mg/kg BWL-theanine improved immune function of the rats by increasing the splenic weight, altering the Th2/Th1 cytokine balance, decreasing the corticosterone level in the serum, elevating dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine in the brain, and regulating the mRNA expression of PLC isomers in the heart.