Inhibition of interleukin-1beta-stimulated collagenase and stromelysin expression in human tendon fibroblasts by epigallocatechin gallate ester.

Corps AN, Curry VA, Buttle DJ, Hazleman BL, Riley GP.

Rheumatology Research Unit, Box 194, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK.

The medicinal benefits of green tea (Camellia sinensis) consumption have been attributed to bioavailable polyphenols, notably epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). We have assessed the effects of EGCG and its non-esterified counterpart EGC on the expression of the collagenases, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-1 and -13, and the stromelysin, MMP-3, in human tendon-derived fibroblasts. Interleukin (IL)-1beta increased MMP-1, -3 and -13 mRNA and output at least 30-fold. EGCG reduced this stimulation, by 20-30% at 2.5 microM and more than 80% at 25 microM, and had a smaller effect on MMP-2 mRNA expression, which was not stimulated by IL-1beta. In all experiments EGCG was at least 10-fold more potent than EGC. EGCG reduced the stimulation of p54 JNK/SAPK phosphorylation by IL-1beta but did not affect p38 MAPK phosphorylation, the degradation of IkappaB or the activating phosphorylation of NFkappaB. We conclude that EGCG reduces the IL-1-stimulated expression of both collagenase and stromelysin mRNA species, an effect which may be mediated by inhibition of the JNK/SAPK pathway. Taken together with previous reports of EGCG effects on the expression and/or activity of gelatinases and aggrecanases, our results underline the importance of extracellular matrix breakdown as a potential target for the actions of green tea polyphenols.