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Seasonal Variation of Phyto-Constituents of Tea Leaves Affects Antiproliferative Potential

Maitra, Sayantan, De, Arnab, Das, Bhaskar, Roy, Sudipendra Nath, Chakraborty, Ranadhir, Samanta, Amalesh, Bhattacharya, Subhrajit
Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2019 v.38 no.5 pp. 415-423
Camellia sinensis, adults, albino, alternative medicine, antineoplastic activity, antioxidants, ascites, autumn, beverages, carcinoma, cell lines, chemical constituents of plants, cytotoxicity, dose response, females, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, laboratory animals, leaves, mice, seasonal variation, tea, toxicity testing, wet season
Objective: Tea (Camellia sinensis Linn.; family: Theaceae) is popular as a stimulant beverage across the globe and is also utilized as a functional antioxidant in alternative medicine. This study has evaluated the impact of seasonal variation on phyto-constituents of tea. Method: The antiproliferative potential of methanolic extracts of tea leaves collected in the rainy season (MECR) was compared with the extract of tea leaves collected in the autumn season (MECA) of the same mother plant. Evaluation of in vivo antitumor activity was carried out in adult female Swiss albino mice groups inoculated with Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was used to compare efficacy of MECR with that of MECA in the EAC cell line. Both qualitative and quantitative tests for phytochemical constituents present in MECA and MECR were performed. Antitumor efficacy of both the extracts was determined by evaluating different tumor markers showing dose-dependent cytotoxicity. Results: Statistically significant reduction in EAC-induced tumor was observed in MECR treated mice compared to MECA treated ones. Cell decimation was significantly higher with MECR treatment, where restoration of different parameters including tissue structures returned to normal. Moreover, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) study revealed the presence of cyclobarbital and benzazulene derivative in MECR, which is thought to be a novel source of these chemicals. Conclusions: To our knowledge, there is no report that has attempted to reveal nutritional changes in terms of efficacy and variation in anticancer constituents in tea leaves, plucked in two seasons. This study revealed a novel source of barbital and benzazulene derivative. The unique presence of cyclobarbital and benzazulene, as revealed from GC-MS data, in methanolic extract of tea leaves collected during the rainy season (MECR) may have contributed to its enhanced in vitro (adopting MTT assay) and in vivo (on EAC-infected Swiss albino mice) cytotoxicity vis-à-vis antiproliferative properties compared to methanolic extract of tea leaves collected during the autumn season (MECA). The nature of plucking leaves in the two selected seasons is different.