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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 1497097, 8 pages
Research Article

Alteration of Mevalonate Pathway in Rat Splenic Lymphocytes: Possible Role in Cytokines Secretion Regulated by L-Theanine

1Key Laboratory of Agro-Ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, National Engineering Laboratory for Pollution Control and Waste Utilization in Livestock and Poultry Production, South-Central Experimental Station of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science in Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha, Hunan 410125, China
2College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Xiangnan University, Chenzhou 423000, China
3Department of Pharmacy, Yongzhou Vocational Technical College, Yongzhou, Hunan 425100, China
4National Research Center of Engineering Technology for Utilization of Botanical Functional Ingredients from Botanicals, Provincial Co-Innovation Center for Utilization of Botanical Function Ingredients, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, Hunan 410128, China
5Hunan Co-Innovation Center of Animal Production Safety, CICAPS, Changsha, Hunan 410128, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Qiongxian Yan and Wenjun Xiao

Received 26 August 2017; Revised 10 November 2017; Accepted 4 December 2017; Published 15 January 2018

Academic Editor: Gernot Zissel

Copyright © 2018 Chengjian Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


L-Theanine is a nonprotein amino acid in tea, and its immunomodulatory function has been confirmed. This study aimed to investigate the effect of L-theanine addition on cytokines secretion in rat splenic lymphocytes and explore its potential immunomodulatory effects on the mevalonate biosynthetic pathway. Our results showed that L-theanine treatment did not influence the proliferation and division indexes of the splenic lymphocytes subsets. Interestingly, L-theanine treatment had regulated the contents of IFN-, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-12, and TNF-   except IL-6 and upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of Ras-related protein Rap-1A (Rap1A), 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR), and farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FDPs) . Additionally, there was a positive correlation between Rap1A and HMGCR proteins expression and IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-6 levels. In conclusion, L-theanine regulated the secretion of cytokines probably by activating expression of Rap1A and HMGCR proteins involved in the mevalonate biosynthetic pathway in rat splenic lymphocytes. Therefore, L-theanine might be a promising potential drug candidate as immunopotentiator.