Fatty acids in tea shoots (Camellia sinensis(L.) O. Kuntze) and their effects on the growth of retinal RF/6A endothelial cell lines

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Chemo-protective effects of tea on ocular diseases were recorded in Chinese pharmacopoeia about 2000 years ago by eating tea. In the present study, contents of fatty acids (FAs) in tea shoots were determined by capillary GC; and the growth of RF/6A cells was also investigated by exposure to various representative FAs existing in tea shoots with pathologically relevant concentrations (40-500 μM) by ameliorated MTT assay and flow cytometry. Electron spin resonance (ESR) was used to measure oxygen consumption and investigate the free radical scavenging ability of linoleic acid (LA). Results showed that the most abundant long chain FAs were palmitic, linoleic, and α-linolenic acid in tea shoots; some RF/6A cells became suspended in culture medium treated by a high dose of both saturated and unsaturated FAs, but no apoptosis was observed. Moreover, it seemed that those FAs with different structure had various effects on the cell proliferation at their relatively low concentrations, LA expressed antioxidant activity in this study, which might be an important mechanism on the protection of eyes.

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