Effects of green tea polyphenols on murine transplant-reactive T cell immunity

Jörg Bayer, Alla Gomer, Yilmaz Demir, Hiroyuki Amano, Danielle D. Kish, Robert Fairchild, Peter S. Heeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Green tea polyphenols (GrTP), the active ingredient of green tea, may have immunosuppressive properties, but whether and how GrTP affect transplant-reactive T cells is unknown. To address this, we tested the effects of GrTP on in vitro and in vivo transplant-reactive T cell immunity. GrTP inhibited IFNγ secretion by cultured monoclonal T cells and by alloreactive T cells in mixed lymphocyte reactions. Oral GrTP significantly prolonged minor antigen-disparate skin graft survival and decreased the frequency of donor-reactive interferon gamma-producing T cells in recipient secondary lymphoid organs compared to controls. In contrast to other hypothesized actions, oral GrTP did not alter dendritic cell trafficking to lymph nodes or affect metalloproteinase activity in the graft. This is the first report of an immunosuppressive effect of GrTP on transplant-reactive T cell immunity. The results suggest that oral intake of green tea could act as an adjunctive therapy for prevention of transplant rejection in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-108
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokine
  • Immunosuppression
  • Minor antigen
  • Mouse
  • T lymphocyte
  • Transplantation


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