Theanine supplementation prevents liver injury and heat shock response by normalizing hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal axis hyperactivity in mice subjected to whole body heat stress

Dongxu Wang, Min Cai, Taotao Wang, Guangshan Zhao, Jinbao Huang, Haisong Wang, Frank Qian, Chi Tang Ho, Yijun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thermal stress evokes heat shock response and activates hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal (HPA) axis. Additionally, liver injury is an important adverse effect of thermal stress. Considering the anti-stress effects of theanine, an amino acid found in tea plants, we hypothesized that theanine may protect against heat stress. Mice were administered intragastrically with theanine prior to whole body thermal exposure. Theanine prevented the heat-induced upregulation of heat shock proteins and reduced the heat-induced liver damage and oxidative stress. Theanine significantly prevented the heat-induced effects on inflammatory and acute phase responses as measured by plasma inflammatory cytokine concentrations, hepatic inflammatory cytokine mRNA levels, plasma nitric oxide and C-reactive protein levels. Additionally, theanine supplementation suppressed heat stress-related disorders associated with normalizing HPA axis hyperactivity. These findings suggest that theanine can have beneficial effects against heat stress and may be an attractive dietary application for people who are at high risk of developing heat stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Functional Foods
Volume45
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Keywords

  • HPA axis
  • Heat shock response
  • Heat stress
  • Liver injury
  • Theanine

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