1995 Volume 18 Issue 5 Pages 683-686
The antiallergic constituents of oolong tea stem were examined. The stem extracts inhibited the 48 h homologous passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) reactions of rats in a dose-dependent manner and showed the same extent of inhibitory activity as ketotifen. All antiallergic constituents from the stem were concentrated into chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions, when extracted by various solvents. These fractions were treated with polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (PVPP), which resulted in the elimination of antiallergic activity in the ethyl acetate fraction, suggesting that one of the antiallergic constituents may be tea catechins. Then, six kinds of catechins, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG), (-)-epicatechin (EC), (+)-catechin (C) and (-)-gallocatechin gallate (GCG), were isolated from the ethyl acetate fraction, and the inhibitory activity of these catechins on histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells passively sensitized with anti-egg albumin (EA) IgE antibody was investigated. Among these catechins, significant inhibitory activity was observed in all the catechins except for EC. In addition, the inhibitory activity of GCG was greater than that of EGCG, which is well known to be an antiallergic constituent in tea. These results suggest that GCG may be a novel antiallergic constituent among tea catechins, and also the most potent.