Effects of the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate on high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction

Academic Article


  • Insulin resistance, a hallmark of metabolic disorders, is a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Impairment of insulin responsiveness in vascular endothelium contributes to insulin resistance. The reciprocal relationship between insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction augments the pathophysiology of metabolism and cardiovascular functions. The most abundant green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin- 3-gallate (EGCG), has been shown to have vasodilator action in vessels by activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). However, it is not known whether EGCG has a beneficial effect in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced endothelial dysfunction. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed either a normal chow diet (NCD) or HFD with or without EGCG supplement (50 mg·kg-1·day-1) for 10 wk. Mice fed a HFD with EGCG supplement gained less body weight and showed improved insulin sensitivity. In vehicle-treated HFD mice, endothelial function was impaired in response to insulin but not to acetylcholine, whereas the EGCG-treated HFD group showed improved insulinstimulated vasodilation. Interestingly, EGCG intake reduced macrophage infiltration into aortic tissues in HFD mice. Treatment with EGCG restored the insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of eNOS, insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), and protein kinase B (Akt), which was inhibited by palmitate (200 μM, 5 h) in primary bovine aortic endothelial cells. From these results, we conclude that supplementation of EGCG improves glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and endothelial function. The results suggest that EGCG may have beneficial health effects in glucose metabolism and endothelial function through modulating HFD-induced inflammatory response. © 2013 the American Physiological Society.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jang HJ; Ridgeway SD; Kim JA
  • Volume

  • 305
  • Issue

  • 12