Theacrine, a purine alkaloid derived from Camellia assamica var. kucha, ameliorates impairments in learning and memory caused by restraint-induced central fatigue

Yi Fang Li, Min Chen, Chen Wang, Xiao Xiao Li, Shu Hua Ouyang, Chi Chi He, Zhong Fu Mao, Bun Tsoi, Hiroshi Kurihara, Rong Rong He

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Camellia assamica var. kucha is a local tea in the Yunnan province of China and people there believe its intake can relieve fatigue and their tiredness. Theacrine, a lesser-known purine alkaloid, was first discovered in this kind of tea. Here, we found that theacrine (15 mg/kg) could be absorbed into the blood and pass across the blood-brain barrier after oral administration. The effect and mechanism of theacrine on central fatigue were examined by employing a restraint stress model in mice. Results of behavioral tests suggested that oral administration of theacrine (5, 10, 15 mg/kg) significantly reversed learning and memory impairment caused by central fatigue. In addition, levels of fatigue-related neurotransmitters in the brains of restraint mice, including 5-hydroxytryptamine and dopamine as well as their metabolites, were restored by theacrine. Further, we found that the anti-fatigue effect of theacrine was associated with the regulation of brain glucose metabolism and the inhibition of phosphodiesterases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-483
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Functional Foods
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Central fatigue
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Phosphodiesterases (PDEs)
  • Restraint stress
  • Theacrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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