Glucuronidation of the green tea catechins (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate and (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate, by rat hepatic and intestinal microsomes

Vanessa Crespy, Nathalie Nancoz, Manuel Oliveira, Jörg Hau, Marie Claude Courtet-Compondu, Gary Williamson

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25 Citations (Scopus)


The flavonoids (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCg) and (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate (ECg) are major components of green tea and show numerous biological effects. We investigated the glucuronidation of these compounds and of quercetin by microsomes. Quercetin was almost fully glucuronidated by liver microsomes after 3 h, whereas ECg and ECGg were conjugated to a lesser extent (12.2 ± 0.2 and 7.5 ± 0.2%, respectively). The intestinal microsomes also glucuronidated quercetin much more efficiently than ECg and EGCg. Although the rates were lower than quercetin, intestinal microsomes exhibited higher activity on the galloyl group of ECg and EGCg compared to the flavonoid ring, whereas hepatic glucuronidation was higher on the flavonoid ring of EGCg and ECg compared to the galloyl groups. The low glucuronidation rates could partially explain why these flavanols are present in plasma as unconjugated forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1031
Number of pages7
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Catechins
  • Glucuronidation
  • Green tea
  • Intestine
  • Liver
  • Rat

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