Uncoupling Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Is Ameliorated by Green Tea in Experimental Diabetes by Re-establishing Tetrahydrobiopterin Levels

  1. José B. Lopes de Faria
  1. Renal Pathophysiology Laboratory, Investigation on Diabetes Complications, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
  1. Corresponding author: José B. Lopes de Faria, jblfaria{at}


The current study investigated the potential of green tea (GT) to improve uncoupling of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in diabetic conditions. In rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes, nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability was reduced by uncoupling eNOS, characterized by a reduction in tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) levels and a decrease in the eNOS dimer-to-monomer ratio. GT treatment ameliorated these abnormalities. Moreover, immortalized human mesangial cells (ihMCs) exposed to high glucose (HG) levels exhibited a rise in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a decline in NO levels, which were reversed with GT. BH4 and the activity of guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase I decreased in ihMCs exposed to HG and was normalized by GT. Exogenous administration of BH4 in ihMCs reversed the HG-induced rise in ROS and the decline in NO production. However, coadministration of GT with BH4 did not result in a further reduction in ROS production, suggesting that reduced ROS with GT was indeed secondary to uncoupled eNOS. In summary, GT reversed the diabetes-induced reduction of BH4 levels, ameliorating uncoupling eNOS, and thus increasing NO bioavailability and reducing oxidative stress, two abnormalities that are involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.


  • Received September 22, 2011.
  • Accepted February 29, 2012.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See for details.

| Table of Contents