Abnormal angiogenesis in liver cirrhosis often leads to severe complications such as variceal haemorrhage and encephalopathy. Furthermore, splanchnic angiogenesis elevates portal pressure, in which angiogenic factors play pivotal roles. GTP (green tea polyphenol) extracted from Camellia sinensis has anti-angiogenic properties, but the effects on the parameters described above in cirrhosis have not been investigated. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of GTP in cirrhosis and to investigate the underlying mechanism. Liver cirrhosis was induced in Spraque–Dawley rats by common BDL (bile duct ligation). They randomly received GTP or DW (distilled water, vehicle) for 28 days, then haemodynamic parameters, portosystemic shunting, mesenteric window vascular density, intrahepatic angiogenesis, liver fibrosis, plasma VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) concentration, mesenteric angiogenic factor and receptor protein expression, and serum and mesenteric oxidative stress parameters were assessed. Compared with the DW group, GTP significantly decreased portosystemic shunting, liver fibrosis, intrahepatic angiogenesis, mesenteric window vascular density, VEGF concentration and down-regulated the mesenteric HIF (hypoxia-inducible factor)-1α, VEGF and phospho-Akt expression. In conclusion, GTP ameliorates the severity of portosystemic shunting and mesenteric angiogenesis via the suppression of HIF-1α, Akt activation and VEGF. GTP appears to be an appropriate agent in controlling portal hypertension-related complications via anti-angiogenesis.

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