Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 786–792 | Cite as

Taurine and cholestasis associated to TPN. Experimental study in rabbit model

  • J.M. MoranEmail author
  • J. Salas
  • F. Botello
  • E. Macià
  • V. Climent
Original article


Taurine seems to be essential in the newborn for bile acid (BA) tauroconjugation, and its deficiency has been implicated in total parenteral nutrition-associated cholestasis (TPN-AC). Our purpose was to study the relationship between taurine (Ta) and TPN-AC in rabbits, which have a similar biliary metabolism to that of humans. We used 40 young rabbits, fed for 10 days according to the following four groups: GA [10] given TPN, with amino acid solution (AA) but without taurine (Ta) or its AA-precursors (methionine, cysteine, and serine); GB [10] the same but only without taurine; GC [10] the same but with taurine and its precursors; and GD [10] the control group with oral nutrition and saline infusion. Complete blood and bile analytical data were obtained and analyzed, including plasma AA and BA. Liver samples were studied under optical and electron microscopy. Serum: In GC there was a 20% increase in the AA-precursors, but paradoxically it was greater in GA. Bile: In GC there was 30% more excretion of total and free BA compared with less than 20% in GA and GB. Regarding toxic BA, there was a 15% decline in GLC3S excretion, but more than 20% in LCA excretion, than in GA and GB. Moreover, in GC the glyco-/tauro-conjugate ratio was worse than in the other groups. Histomorphology: While in GA and GB liver steatosis was diffuse (microsteatohepatitis type), in GC there was macrosteatosis with mitochondria-surrounded lipid droplets. In GA and GB, the canaliculi appeared dilated, with abundant bile plugs and loss of microvilli. There are signs that taurine may protect against TPN-AC. The mechanism does not seem to be BA tauroconjugation, but probably taurine’s antioxidant, membrane stabilization (with Ca2+ and HCO3-), and/or osmotic effects.


Taurine Cholestasis Parenteral nutrition 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.M. Moran
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Salas
    • 1
  • F. Botello
    • 1
  • E. Macià
    • 1
  • V. Climent
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery. Faculty of MedicineUniversidad de ExtremaduraBadajozSpain

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