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L-Theanine Protects H9C2 Cells from Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Apoptosis by Enhancing Antioxidant Capability

Chengjian Li, Qiongxian Yan, Shaoxun Tang, Wenjun Xiao, Zhiliang Tan

(CAS Key Laboratory of Agro-Ecological Processes in Subtropical Regions, National Engineering Laboratory for Pollution Control and Waste Utilization in Livestock and Poultry Production, South-Central Experimental Station of Animal Nutrition and Feed Scienc, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha, Hunan, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: LBR2109-2118

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907660


BACKGROUND: L-theanine is a non-protein amino acid in green tea, and its hepatoprotection and neuroprotection have been verified. However, whether L-theanine can prevent cardiomyocytes from apoptosis is unclear yet. This study evaluated the protective effects of L-theanine on H2O2-induced heart injury in vitro.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The certified H9C2 cells were pretreated with L-theanine (0 mM, 4 mM, 8 mM, and 16 mM) for 24 h, followed by 160 µM H2O2 solution for 4 h. The cell viability and antioxidant indices were assayed. Quantitative evaluation of apoptosis was performed by flow cytometric analysis. Nuclear morphology of the cells was monitored by 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining. Expression of Caspase-3, poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 was assayed by Western blot.
RESULTS: Compared to the H2O2 treatment, all doses of L-theanine treatments increased the cell viability, glutathione level, and the activities of glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase (P<0.001). The contents of reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide, and oxidized glutathione were decreased by L-theanine treatments (P<0.001). Meanwhile, L-theanine treatments decreased the apoptosis ratio of H2O2-induced H9C2 cells (P<0.001). Pro-Caspase-3 expression was upregulated and cleavaged-PARP expression was inhibited by L-theanine (P<0.001). However, the phosphorylation of JNK and p38 was not affected by L-theanine treatments (P>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that L-theanine pretreatment prevents H2O2-induced apoptosis in H9C2 cells, probably via antioxidant capacity improvement. Therefore, it might be a promising potential drug candidate for prophylaxis of ischemia/reperfusion-induced heart diseases.

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