Catechins are key components of green tea with many biological functions, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and anti-carcinogenic effects. These effects are induced by the suppression of several inflammatory factors including nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), a multipotential promoter of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), cytokines, and adhesion molecules. While these characteristics of catechins have been well documented, effects of catechins on inflammation- related cardiovascular diseases have not been well investigated. In this article, we reviewed recent clinical and experimental papers to reveal the anti-inflammatory effects of catechins in cardiovascular diseases. In our laboratory, we performed oral administration of catechins into murine and rat models of cardiac transplantation, myocarditis and myocardial ischemia to reveal the effects of catechins on the inflammation-induced ventricular and arterial remodeling. From our results and other investigations, catechins are potent agents for the treatment and prevention of inflammation-related cardiovascular diseases because they are critically involved in the suppression of proinflammatory signaling pathways.
Keywords: Tea, catechin, nuclear factor-kappa B, inflammation
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