We examined the constituents of tea that had an inhibitory effect on the degranulation process in the human basophilic cell line, KU812. Among the constituents purified from a extract of ‘Benihomare’ oolong tea by column chromatography, a methylated (-)-epigallocatechin gallate ((-)-epigallocatechin 3-O-(3-O-methyl) gallate) was found to inhibit the degranulation of KU812 cells that had been stimulated with calcium ionophore A23187. The inhibitory effect of this methylated (-)-epigallocatechin gallate on degranulation was greater than that of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate. This result indicates that methylation of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate may be an effective modification for the catechin to inhibit degranulation from human basophils.
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