Green tea diet decreases PCB 126-induced oxidative stress in mice by up-regulating antioxidant enzymes

Bradley J. Newsome, Michael C. Petriello, Sung Gu Han, Margaret O. Murphy, Katryn E. Eske, Manjula Sunkara, Andrew J. Morris, Bernhard Hennig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Superfund chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls pose a serious human health risk due to their environmental persistence and link to multiple diseases. Selective bioactive food components such as flavonoids have been shown to ameliorate PCB toxicity, but primarily in an in vitro setting. Here, we show that mice fed a green tea-enriched diet and subsequently exposed to environmentally relevant doses of coplanar PCB exhibit decreased overall oxidative stress primarily due to the up-regulation of a battery of antioxidant enzymes. C57BL/6 mice were fed a low-fat diet supplemented with green tea extract (GTE) for 12 weeks and exposed to 5 μmol PCB 126/kg mouse weight (1.63 mg/kg-day) on weeks 10, 11 and 12 (total body burden: 4.9 mg/kg). F2-isoprostane and its metabolites, established markers of in vivo oxidative stress, measured in plasma via HPLC-MS/MS exhibited fivefold decreased levels in mice supplemented with GTE and subsequently exposed to PCB compared to animals on a control diet exposed to PCB. Livers were collected and harvested for both messenger RNA and protein analyses, and it was determined that many genes transcriptionally controlled by aryl hydrocarbon receptor and nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 proteins were up-regulated in PCB-exposed mice fed the green tea-supplemented diet. An increased induction of genes such as SOD1, GSR, NQO1 and GST, key antioxidant enzymes, in these mice (green tea plus PCB) may explain the observed decrease in overall oxidative stress. A diet supplemented with green tea allows for an efficient antioxidant response in the presence of PCB 126, which supports the emerging paradigm that healthful nutrition may be able to bolster and buffer a physiological system against the toxicities of environmental pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-135
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the National Institutes of Health ( P42ES007380 ) and the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station.


  • AhR
  • Antioxidant response
  • Green tea
  • Nrf2
  • Oxidative stress
  • PCB toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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