# Matcha Tea Powder Has Antidepressant-Like Effects
Summary: Researchers say Matcha, a traditional Japanese tea, can help boost mood and mental performance. Match tea powder activates dopaminergic neural networks and improves depressive symptoms in mice that previously experienced stress as a result of social isolation.
Stress-susceptible mice with a shorter immobility time also had more c-Fos-positive cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of their brains (which initiates dopaminergic activity), as well as in the PFC and NAc, indicating higher neural activity and dopamine production. In contrast, none of these effects were seen in stress-tolerant mice.
This was further cemented by another finding—administering a dopamine D1 receptor blocker to stress-susceptible mice negated the antidepressant-like effects of Matcha tea suspension. Dr. Kurauchi ties it all together.
# Matcha Tea Powder’s Antidepressant-like Effect through the Activation of the Dopaminergic System in Mice Is Dependent on Social Isolation Stress
Matcha tea powder is believed to have various physiological benefits; however, its detailed mechanism of action has been poorly understood. Here, we investigated whether the mental state of mice, due to social isolation stress, affects the antidepressant-like effect of Matcha tea powder by using the tail suspension test. Oral administration of Matcha tea powder reduced the duration of immobility in the stress-susceptible C57BL/6J strain, but not in BALB/c strain. In C57BL/6J mice, SCH23390, a dopamine D1 receptor blocker, prevented Matcha tea powder from exerting its antidepressant-like effect. Matcha tea powder also increased the number of c-Fos-positive cells in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) region and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) region in C57BL/6J mice, but not in BALB/c mice. In contrast, Matcha tea powder did not change the number of c-Fos-positive cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) region. Notably, C57BL/6J mice with a shorter immobility time had a higher number of c-Fos-positive cells in the PFC, NAc, and VTA regions. However, no such correlation was observed in the stress-tolerant BALB/c mice. These results suggest that Matcha tea powder exerts an antidepressant-like effect through the activation of the dopaminergic system including the PFC-NAc-VTA circuit and that mental states are important factors affecting the physiological benefits of Matcha tea powder.
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