Amino Acids

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 1419–1429 | Cite as

Protective functions of taurine against experimental stroke through depressing mitochondria-mediated cell death in rats

  • Ming Sun
  • Yi Gu
  • Yumei Zhao
  • Chao Xu
Original Article


Taurine, an abundant amino acid in the nervous system, is reported to reduce ischemic brain injury in a dose-dependent manner. This study was designed to investigate whether taurine protected brain against experimental stroke through affecting mitochondria-mediated cell death pathway. Rats were subjected to 2-h ischemia by intraluminal filament, and then reperfused for 22 h. It was confirmed again that taurine (50 mg/kg) administered intravenously 1 h after ischemia markedly improved neurological function and decreased infarct volume at 22 h after reperfusion. In vehicle-treated rats, the levels of intracellular ATP and the levels of cytosolic and mitochondrial Bcl-xL in the penumbra and core were markedly reduced, while the levels of cytosolic Bax in the core and mitochondrial Bax in the penumbra and core were enhanced significantly. There was a decrease in cytochrome C in mitochondria and an increase in cytochrome C in the cytosol of the penumbra and core. These changes were reversed by taurine. Furthermore, taurine inhibited the activation of calpain and caspase-3, reduced the degradation of αII-spectrin, and attenuated the necrotic and apoptotic cell death in the penumbra and core. These data demonstrated that preserving the mitochondrial function and blocking the mitochondria-mediated cell death pathway may be one mechanism of taurine’s action against brain ischemia.


Taurine Experimental stroke Mitochondria Calpain Caspase-3 





Cytochrome C oxidase subunit IV isoform




Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


Ethyleneglycol bis(2-aminoethyl ether)tetraacetic acid

HE staining

Hematoxylin eosin staining


N-2-hydroxyethylpiperazine-N′-2′-ethanesulfonic acid


Middle cerebral artery occlusion


Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


2,3,5-Triphenyltetrazolium chlorides


Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling


Nitroblue tetrazolium/5-bromo-4-chloro-3-inoloyl-phosphate


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurochemistryBeijing Neurosurgical InstituteBeijingChina

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