Taurine week #3: Organs

Three 2022 papers investigated taurine’s effects on organs, starting with a rodent study of sepsis:

“Sepsis usually causes multiple organ dysfunctions and high mortality. Pathogenesis of sepsis is thought to be driven by hyperactive inflammation following pathogen invasion. If the immune system fails to eradicate pathogens, immune homeostasis is disturbed, leading to an overwhelming inflammation accompanied by immunosuppression.

Metabolomic analysis showed large amounts of taurine in neutrophils and monocytes and a dramatic decrease in taurine levels after lipopolysaccharides (LPS) exposure:

taurine decrease

Cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model mice and CLP plus taurine mice were injected intraperitoneally with saline (200 μl) or taurine (200 mg/kg, in 200 μl) respectively at 6, 24, and 48 h after the operation. Taurine protected septic mice from death, improving tissue injuries in the lung, liver, and kidney by reducing neutrophil infiltration and TNF-α production.

taurine survival

Our data indicate that a supplement with taurine might be a promising therapeutic strategy for sepsis to reduce hyperactive inflammation and improve multiple organ dysfunctions.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0008874922000272 “Mechanism of taurine reducing inflammation and organ injury in sepsis mice” (not freely available) Thanks to Dr. Liuluan Zhu for providing a copy.

Taurine demonstrated the only decrease in 17 amino acids measured in monocytes above. It was the same story for those amino acids and neutrophils.

A human equivalent to each of three mouse taurine doses administered over two days was (.081 x 200 mg) x 70 kg = 1.134 g. A second dose given at the 12-hour point may have improved treated subjects’ survival, as half of them died before the study’s 24-hour point of a second dose.

A second rodent study was on liver injury:

“We investigated the beneficial effects of taurine on fatty liver injury in vivo induced by tunicamycin, a chemical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stressor.

The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a protein homeostasis-maintaining system that monitors ER conditions by sensing inadequacy in ER protein folding capacity. The ER is both a protein homeostasis-maintaining system and the primary site of lipid metabolism. The UPR plays vital roles in maintaining metabolic and lipid homeostasis.

Glutathione (GSH), a final byproduct of sulfur-containing amino acid metabolism, is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also a principal redox buffer in the ER. Depletion of reduced glutathione can cause additional oxidative stress.

Cysteine, the metabolic precursor of GSH, is also an essential substrate for taurine synthesis. Utilization of cysteine to generate GSH and taurine is competitive.

In this study, availability of cysteine is favored for GSH synthesis due to sufficient taurine supply. Taurine supplementation restored GSH levels, which were attenuated by tunicamycin treatment, by increasing expression of GCLC, an enzyme mediating GSH synthesis.


The protective effect of taurine on tunicamycin-induced hepatic injury results from its concurrent mitigation of both ER and oxidative stress.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/12/3/354/htm “Taurine Ameliorates Tunicamycin-Induced Liver Injury by Disrupting the Vicious Cycle between Oxidative Stress and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress”

This study provided further evidence for an idea in Treating psychopathological symptoms will somehow resolve causes? that:

“Such positive effects of taurine on glutathione levels may be explained by the fact that cysteine is the essential precursor to both metabolites, whereby taurine supplementation may drive metabolism of cysteine towards GSH synthesis.”

A third rodent study investigated lung pneumonia:

“We evaluated anti-inflammatory effects of taurine derivative N-chlorotaurine (also known as taurine chloramine; TauCl) against LPS-induced pneumonia in obese mice maintained on a high fat diet.

Taurine is present in immune system cells such as macrophages and neutrophils. When an organism is infected by pathogens, immune cells produce hypochlorous acid to kill pathogens. Taurine reacts with excessive hypochlorous acid to produce TauCl, which reduces high levels of hypochlorous acid and its toxicity to surrounding host cells.

Intraperitoneal TauCl suppressed excessive immune response in lungs. TauCl treatment attenuates acute pneumonia-related pulmonary and systemic inflammation, including muscle wasting.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2218-1989/12/4/349/htmN-Chlorotaurine Reduces the Lung and Systemic Inflammation in LPS-Induced Pneumonia in High Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice”


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