Korean J Pediatr.  2009 Dec;52(12):1337-1347. 10.3345/kjp.2009.52.12.1337.

Taurine exerts neuroprotective effects via anti-apoptosis in hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in neonatal rats

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Daegu, Korea. wootykim@cu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju, Gyungbook, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is a simple sulfur-containing amino acid. It is abundantly present in tissues such as brain, retina, heart, and skeletal muscles. Current studies have demonstrated the neuroprotective effects of taurine, but limited data are available for such effects during neonatal period. The aim of this study was to determine whether taurine could reduce hypoxic-ischemic (HI) cerebral injury via anti-apoptosis mechanism. METHODS: Embryonic cortical neurons isolated from Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats at 18 days gestation were cultured in vitro. The cells were divided into hypoxia group, taurine-treated group before hypoxic insult, and taurine-treated group after HI insult. In the in vivo model, left carotid artery ligation was performed in 7-day-old SD rat pups. The pups were exposed to hypoxia, administered an injection of 30 mg/kg of taurine, and killed at 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, and 4 weeks after the hypoxic insult. We compared the expressions of Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3 among the 3 groups by using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and western blotting. RESULTS: The cells in the taurine-treated group before hypoxic insult, although similar in appearance to those in the normoxia group, were lesser in number. In the taurine-treated group, Bcl-2 expression increased, whereas Bax and caspase-3 expressions reduced. CONCLUSION: Taurine exerts neuroprotective effects onperinatal HI brain injury due to its anti-apoptotic effect. The neuroprotective effect was maximal at 1-2 weeks after the hypoxic injury.

Keyword

Taurine; Apoptosis; Hypoxic-ischemic brain injury; Neuroprotective effect

MeSH Terms

Animals
Anoxia
Apoptosis
Blotting, Western
Brain
Brain Injuries
Carotid Arteries
Caspase 3
Heart
Ligation
Muscle, Skeletal
Neurons
Neuroprotective Agents
Pregnancy
Rats
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Retina
Taurine
Caspase 3
Neuroprotective Agents
Taurine
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