Tea is the most popular beverage worldwide. Caffeine, the psychoactive principle of tea, pharmacologically interacts with several drugs and bioactive molecules. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a major component of tea and its known interactions with caffeine make it worthwhile to further study them by investigating the influence of EGCG on the anticataleptic and locomotor-sensitizing effects of caffeine. In the present investigation, we observed that (a) administration of caffeine or EGCG alone inhibited haloperidol-induced catalepsy, a widely used animal model to study parkinsonism, and (b) a combination of caffeine and EGCG produced greater inhibition of haloperidol-induced catalepsy. Furthermore, after repeated administration of caffeine and EGCG, either alone or in combination, we observed that (c) caffeine and EGCG contrasted the sensitization of catalepsy observed after repeated haloperidol administration by significantly reducing the duration of catalepsy. Furthermore, as haloperidol-induced catalepsy was also associated with increased lipid peroxidation, we observed that (d) EGCG administration reduced striatal lipid peroxide levels in a dose-dependent manner and that (e) the combination of caffeine with EGCG was most effective in reducing haloperidol-increased striatal lipid peroxide. Finally, we observed that (f) chronic caffeine and EGCG significantly elicited locomotor sensitization and that (g) their combination resulted in significantly greater effects. In conclusion, EGCG potentiated the effects of caffeine on haloperidol-induced catalepsy and of caffeine-elicited locomotor sensitization. Overall, these observations indicate critical interactions between caffeine and EGCG in an animal model of parkinsonism and locomotor activity and suggest that tea consumption might reduce antipsychotic-induced side effects.
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