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Special Issue "Molecular Pharmacology of Green Tea"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Medicinal Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Yukio Yoneda
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacology, Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry, Suita, 565-0871, Japan;
The Institute of Prophylactic Pharmacology, Kita-Shinagawa, Shinagawa, 140-0001, Tokyo, Japan
Interests: amino acids; theanine; green tea; gene transcription; cellular differentiation; intracellular signal transduction; membrane receptors; membrane transporters; mitochondria; neural stem cells; mesenchymal stem cells; hematopoietic stem cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Green tea has been ingested for hundreds of years in Asian countries with reputed benefits for human health. Although a variety of bioactive molecules are found in green tea leaves, exact modes of actions as well as underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully clarified with the beneficial effectiveness of the lifestyle to drink green tea for people’s fitness to date. Sustained daily green tea ingestion is shown to improve cognition impairment in elderly people, for example, identification of the active ingredients is still in debate among scientists. These include polyphenols, caffeine, vitamins, amino acids, and others. Particular edible foods and beverages have often been beneficial for the prophylaxis and/or alleviation of unpleasant disabilities and dysfunctions following daily ingestion from childhood in young to elderly people suffering from health concerns. In contrast to medicines with inevitable side effects, these edible materials are in principle with guaranteed safety for human health in our history unless excessive amounts are consumed. A variety of edible materials and their ingredients have been used for dietary supplements and nutraceuticals for many reasons in recent years, whereas their individual scientific backgrounds are considerably poorer than drugs with validated evidence.

This Special Issue thus aims to recruit useful contributions for the promoted understanding of molecular aspects on the biochemistry and pharmacology of green tea and relevant ingredients responsible for the improvement of a variety of functional disturbances in humans. Patients do not have to suffer from heavily unpleasant disabilities due to severe symptoms of a particular disease as long as they pay more attention to their lifestyles than before. In this issue, I would like to contribute to the clarification and enlightenment of the scientific backgrounds of favorable and/or unfavorable pharmacology of green tea toward the urgent construction with orchestration of validified nutraceutical sciences as seen with pharmaceutical sciences as quickly as possible.

Prof. Yukio Yoneda
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • green tea;
  • bioactive ingredients;
  • human healthcare;
  • lifestyle;
  • prophylaxis;
  • nutraceutical science;
  • guaranteed safety

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview
Selective Upregulation by Theanine of Slc38a1 Expression in Neural Stem Cell for Brain Wellness
Molecules 2020, 25(2), 347; - 15 Jan 2020
Theanine is an amino acid abundant in green tea with an amide moiety analogous to glutamine (GLN) rather than glutamic acid (Glu) and GABA, which are both well-known as amino acid neurotransmitters in the brain. Theanine has no polyphenol and flavonoid structures required [...] Read more.
Theanine is an amino acid abundant in green tea with an amide moiety analogous to glutamine (GLN) rather than glutamic acid (Glu) and GABA, which are both well-known as amino acid neurotransmitters in the brain. Theanine has no polyphenol and flavonoid structures required for an anti-oxidative property as seen with catechins and tannins, which are more enriched in green tea. We have shown marked inhibition by this exogenous amino acid theanine of the uptake of [3H]GLN, but not of [3H]Glu, in rat brain synaptosomes. Beside a ubiquitous role as an endogenous amino acid, GLN has been believed to be a main precursor for the neurotransmitter Glu sequestered in a neurotransmitter pool at glutamatergic neurons in the brain. The GLN transporter solute carrier 38a1 (Slc38a1) plays a crucial role in the incorporation of extracellular GLN for the intracellular conversion to Glu by glutaminase and subsequent sequestration at synaptic vesicles in neurons. However, Slc38a1 is also expressed by undifferentiated neural progenitor cells (NPCs) not featuring a neuronal phenotype. NPCs are derived from a primitive stem cell endowed to proliferate for self-renewal and to commit differentiation to several daughter cell lineages such as neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. In vitro culture with theanine leads to the marked promotion of the generation of new neurons together with selective upregulation of Slc38a1 transcript expression in NPCs. In this review, we will refer to a possible novel neurogenic role of theanine for brain wellness through a molecular mechanism relevant to facilitated neurogenesis with a focus on Slc38a1 expressed by undifferentiated NPCs on the basis of our accumulating findings to date. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Pharmacology of Green Tea)
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