Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The impact of taurine- and beta-alanine-supplemented diets on behavioral and neurochemical parameters in mice: antidepressant versus anxiolytic-like effects

Abstract

Taurine, a substrate of taurine transporter, has functions as a neuromodulator and antioxidant and beta-alanine, a taurine transporter inhibitor, has a role as a neurotransmitter in the brain, and they were expected to be involved in depression-like behavior and antidepressant treatment. These facts aroused our interest in new capabilities of taurine and beta-alanine. Thus, to investigate the effects of chronic ingestion of taurine- (22.5 mmol/kg diet) supplemented diet and beta-alanine- (22.5 mmol/kg diet) supplemented diet under acute stressful conditions, behavioral changes and brain metabolites were compared with mice fed a control diet. In the open field test, no significant difference was observed in locomotor activity among groups. In the elevated plus-maze test, however, significant increases in the percentage of time spent and entries in the open arms were observed in the beta-alanine-supplemented diet fed group compared to both controls and animals fed with taurine-supplemented diet. Moreover, a significant decrease in the duration of immobility was observed in the taurine-supplemented diet group in the forced swimming test compared to both controls and animals fed with beta-alanine-supplemented diet. Taurine-supplemented diet increased taurine and l-arginine concentrations in the hypothalamus. In contrast, beta-alanine-supplemented diet decreased the concentration of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, a major metabolite of serotonin, in the hypothalamus. Beta-alanine-supplemented diet also increased carnosine (beta-alanyl-l-histidine) concentration in the cerebral cortex and hypothalamus, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentration in the hippocampus. These results suggested that taurine-supplemented diet had an antidepressant-like effect and beta-alanine-supplemented diet had an anxiolytic-like effect.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Abe H (2000) Role of histidine-related compounds as intracellular proton buffering constituents in vertebrate muscle. Biochemistry 65:757–765

  2. Aley KO, Kulkarni SK (1989) GABA-mediated modification of despair behavior in mice. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 339:306–311

  3. Birdsall TC (1998) Therapeutic applications of taurine. Altern Med Rev 3:128–136

  4. Cao BJ, Rodgers RJ (1997) Comparative behavioural profiles of buspirone and its metabolite 1-(2-pyrimidinyl)-piperazine (1-PP) in the murine elevated plus-maze. Neuropharmacology 36:1089–1097

  5. Castrén E (2004) Neurotrophic effects of antidepressant drugs. Curr Opin Pharmacol 4:58–64

  6. Chen B, Dowlatshahi D, MacQueen GM, Wang JF, Young LT (2001) Increased hippocampal BDNF immunoreactivity in subjects treated with antidepressant medication. Biol Psychiatry 50:260–265

  7. Chen SW, Kong WX, Zhang YJ, Li YL, Mi XJ, Mu XS (2004) Possible anxiolytic effects of taurine in the mouse elevated plus-maze. Life Sci 75:1503–1511

  8. Chen ZY, Jing D, Bath KG, Ieraci A, Khan T, Siao CJ, Herrera DG, Toth M, Yang C, McEwen BS, Hempstead BL, Lee FS (2006) Genetic variant BDNF (Val66Met) polymorphism alters anxiety-related behavior. Science 314:140–143

  9. Cirulli F, Berry A, Chiarotti F, Alleva E (2004) Intrahippocampal administration of BDNF in adult rats affects short-term behavioral plasticity in the Morris water maze and performance in the elevated plus-maze. Hippocampus 14:802–807

  10. da Silva GD, Matteussi AS, dos Santos AR, Calixto JB, Rodrigues AL (2000) Evidence for dual effects of nitric oxide in the forced swimming test and in the tail suspension test in mice. Neuroreport 11:3699–3702

  11. Engelmann M, Wolf G, Horn TF (2002) Release patterns of excitatory and inhibitory amino acids within the hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus in response to direct nitric oxide administration during forced swimming in rats. Neurosci Lett 324:252–254

  12. Handley SL, McBlane JW (1993) 5HT drugs in animal models of anxiety. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 112:13–20

  13. Hussy N, Deleuze C, Desarménien MG, Moos FC (2000) Osmotic regulation of neuronal activity: a new role for taurine and glial cells in a hypothalamic neuroendocrine structure. Prog Neurobiol 62:113–134

  14. Inan SY, Yalcin I, Aksu F (2004) Dual effects of nitric oxide in the mouse forced swimming test: possible contribution of nitric oxide-mediated serotonin release and potassium channel modulation. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 77:457–464

  15. Karege F, Bondolfi G, Gervasoni N, Schwald M, Aubry JM, Bertschy G (2005) Low brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in serum of depressed patients probably results from lowered platelet BDNF release unrelated to platelet reactivity. Biol Psychiatry 57:1068–1072

  16. Karolewicz B, Paul IA (2001) Group housing of mice increases immobility and antidepressant sensitivity in the forced swim and tail suspension tests. Eur J Pharmacol 415:197–201

  17. Kohen R, Yamamoto Y, Cundy KC, Ames BN (1988) Antioxidant activity of carnosine, homocarnosine, and anserine present in muscle and brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 85:3175–3179

  18. Kong WX, Chen SW, Li YL, Zhang YJ, Wang R, Min L, Mi X (2006) Effects of taurine on rat behaviors in three anxiety models. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 83:271–276

  19. Murakami T, Yamane H, Tomonaga S, Furuse M (2009) Forced swimming and imipramine modify plasma and brain amino acid concentrations in mice. Eur J Pharmacol 602:73–77

  20. Murray CJ, Lopez AD (1997) Alternative projections of mortality and disability by cause 1990–2020: Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet 349:1498–1504

  21. Oja SS, Saransaari P (1996) Taurine as osmoregulator and neuromodulator in the brain. Metab Brain Dis 11:153–164

  22. Parildar-Karpuzoğlu H, Doğru-Abbasoğlu S, Balkan J, Aykaç-Toker G, Uysal M (2007) Decreases in taurine levels induced by beta-alanine treatment did not affect the susceptibility of tissues to lipid peroxidation. Amino Acids 32:115–119

  23. Porsolt RD, Bertin A, Jalfre M (1977) Behavioral despair in mice: a primary screening test for antidepressants. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther 229:327–336

  24. Saransaari P, Oja SS (2000) Taurine and neural cell damage. Amino Acids 19:509–526

  25. Shimizu E, Hashimoto K, Okamura N, Koike K, Komatsu N, Kumakiri C, Nakazato M, Watanabe H, Shinoda N, Okada S, Iyo M (2003) Alterations of serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in depressed patients with or without antidepressants. Biol Psychiatry 54:70–75

  26. Singewald N, Ebner K, Landgraf R, Wotjak CT, Engelmann M (1999) Vasopressin selectively modulates the release of taurine within the septum of the rat brain. Neurosci Lett 277:68–70

  27. Takeuchi K, Toyohara H, Sakaguchi M (2000) A hyperosmotic stress-induced mRNA of carp cell encodes Na+- and Cl–dependent high affinity taurine transporter. Biochim Biophys Acta 1464:219–230

  28. Tomonaga S, Tachibana T, Takagi T, Saito ES, Zhang R, Denbow DM, Furuse M (2004) Effect of central administration of carnosine and its constituents on behaviors in chicks. Brain Res Bull 63:75–82

  29. Tomonaga S, Tachibana T, Takahashi H, Sato M, Denbow DM, Furuse M (2005) Nitric oxide involves in carnosine-induced hyperactivity in chicks. Eur J Pharmacol 524:84–88

  30. Whirley BK, Einat H (2008) Taurine trials in animal models offer no support for anxiolytic, antidepressant or stimulant effects. Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci 45:11–18

  31. Wong PT, Ong YP (2001) Acute antidepressant-like and antianxiety-like effects of tryptophan in mice. Pharmacology 62:151–156

  32. Wu FS, Gibbs TT, Farb DH (1993) Dual activation of GABAA and glycine receptors by beta-alanine: inverse modulation by progesterone and 5 alpha-pregnan-3 alpha-ol-20-one. Eur J Pharmacol 246:239–246

Download references

Acknowledgment

This study was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japanese Society of Pet Animal Nutrition and MEXT City Area Program (Development Stage). The authors are grateful to Dr. M. A. Cline, Radford University, USA, for his reading of the manuscript, and the staff and students of the Laboratory of Chemistry and Technology of Animal Products in Kyushu University for their assistance in the amino acid analysis.

Author information

Correspondence to Mitsuhiro Furuse.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Murakami, T., Furuse, M. The impact of taurine- and beta-alanine-supplemented diets on behavioral and neurochemical parameters in mice: antidepressant versus anxiolytic-like effects. Amino Acids 39, 427–434 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-009-0458-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Taurine
  • Beta-alanine
  • Elevated plus-maze test
  • Forced swimming test
  • Amino acids
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor