Choleretic effects of taurine on experimentally-induced intrahepatic cholestasis
When a lymphokine, the cholestatic factor, is intravenously injected into rats through a mesenteric vein, remarkable reductions in bile flow and bile acid excretion are observed. However when taurine was injected with the cholestatic factor, the reduction in bile flow and bile acid excretion were significantly suppressed. Moreover, injection of taurine with cholestatic factor resulted in the decreases of both bile acid-dependent bile flow and vesicular transport but not bile acid-independent bile flow. Not significant choleretic effects were noted when taurine alone was administered to normal rats.
Dietary amino acid taurine ameliorates liver injury in chronic hepatitis patients.
The effect of dietary amino acid taurine on the liver function of chronic hepatitis patients was investigated. The 24 chronic hepatitis patients with 2-5 times over normal activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were selected and equally divided into taurine treatment and control groups. In taurine treatment group, each patient took 2 g taurine 3 times a day for three months, and then stopped treatment for 1 month. Patients taking placebo without taurine for 4 months served as a control group. ALT and AST activities and levels of cholesterol, triglyceride and thiobarbituric acid relative substances of serum plasma in the taurine group were all decreased at the end of three month treatment. The study suggested that dietary amino acid taurine may ameliorate liver injury for chronic hepatitis patients.
Experimental evidence for therapeutic potential of taurine in the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
The incidence of obesity is now at epidemic proportions and has resulted in the emergence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as a common metabolic disorder that can lead to liver injury and cirrhosis. Excess sucrose and long-chain saturated fatty acids in the diet may play a role in the development and progression of NAFLD. One factor linking sucrose and saturated fatty acids to liver damage is dysfunction of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Although there is currently no proven, effective therapy for NAFLD, the amino sulfonic acid taurine is protective against various metabolic disturbances, including alcohol-induced liver damage. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the therapeutic potential of taurine to serve as a preventative treatment for diet-induced NAFLD. We report that taurine significantly mitigated palmitate-mediated caspase-3 activity, cell death, ER stress, and oxidative stress in H4IIE liver cells and primary hepatocytes. In rats fed a high-sucrose diet, dietary taurine supplementation significantly reduced hepatic lipid accumulation, liver injury, inflammation, plasma triglycerides, and insulin levels. The high-sucrose diet resulted in an induction of multiple components of the unfolded protein response in the liver consistent with ER stress, which was ameliorated by taurine supplementation. Treatment of mice with the ER stress-inducing agent tunicamycin resulted in liver injury, unfolded protein response induction, and hepatic lipid accumulation that was significantly ameliorated by dietary supplementation with taurine. Our results indicate that dietary supplementation with taurine offers significant potential as a preventative treatment for NAFLD.