GSBS Student Publications


L-theanine intervention enhances human gammadeltaT lymphocyte function

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Pathology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Common Cold; Glutamates; Humans; *Immunity, Cellular; Influenza, Human; Lymphocyte Activation; T-Lymphocyte Subsets


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Human gammadeltaT lymphocytes are a subset of T cells and are a first line of defense against microbes and tumors. These gammadeltaT cells can be primed by nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates, and certain short-chain alkylamines. These primed gammadeltaT cells have an enhanced capacity to proliferate and to secrete cytokines upon ex vivo exposure to a wide variety of microbes and tumor cells. The largest dietary source of alkylamines is L-theanine, an amino acid unique to tea beverages that is catabolized to ethylamine. Supplementation of subjects with capsules containing L-theanine and catechins has recently been shown to decrease the incidence of cold and flu symptoms, while enhancing gammadeltaT cell function.

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Citation: Nutr Rev. 2008 Feb;66(2):96-102. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

Nutrition reviews

PubMed ID