Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2017 May 5;42(5):495-502. Epub 2017 Jan 5.
a Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
We have previously shown that a diet containing epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and beta-alanine is not effective in improving either cognitive or muscle function in aged (18 month) mice (Gibbons et al., Behav. Brain Res., 2014, 272:131-140; Pence et al., Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab., 2016, 41(2): 181-190). However, this diet reduced oxidative stress in the brain, and previous studies using longer term interventions and other doses have documented beneficial effects in cognitive and muscle function, especially with EGCG. Here we hypothesized that a different dose of EGCG or longer feeding period would be more efficacious in improving cognition. Aged (21-25 mo) Balb/cByJ male mice underwent 63 days of feeding with EGCG at 0, 0.091, or 3.67 mg/g AIN-93M diet and were then subjected to a battery of cognitive and muscle function tests. EGCG feeding at either of the 2 doses did not alter preference for novel versus familiar arm in the Y-maze test (p = 0.29) and did not affect learning in the active avoidance test (p = 0.76). Similarly, EGCG did not affect preference for novel versus familiar mice in a social discrimination test (p = 0.17). Likewise, there was no effect of EGCG on muscle function by grip strength (p = 0.16), rotarod (p = 0.18), or treadmill test to exhaustion (p = 0.25). EGCG reduced mortality in a dose-dependent fashion (p = 0.05, log-rank test for trend), with 91% of high EGCG, 72% of low EGCG, and 55% of control mice surviving to the end of the study. In conclusion, EGCG improves survival in aged mice but does not affect cognitive or muscle function.