Amino Acids

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 1533–1548 | Cite as

Taurine supplementation ameliorates glucose homeostasis, prevents insulin and glucagon hypersecretion, and controls β, α, and δ-cell masses in genetic obese mice

  • Junia C. Santos-Silva
  • Rosane Aparecida Ribeiro
  • Jean F. Vettorazzi
  • Esperanza Irles
  • Sarah Rickli
  • Patrícia C. Borck
  • Patricia M. Porciuncula
  • Ivan Quesada
  • Angel Nadal
  • Antonio C. Boschero
  • Everardo M. Carneiro
Original Article


Taurine (Tau) regulates β-cell function and glucose homeostasis under normal and diabetic conditions. Here, we assessed the effects of Tau supplementation upon glucose homeostasis and the morphophysiology of endocrine pancreas, in leptin-deficient obese (ob) mice. From weaning until 90-day-old, C57Bl/6 and ob mice received, or not, 5 % Tau in drinking water (C, CT, ob and obT). Obese mice were hyperglycemic, glucose intolerant, insulin resistant, and exhibited higher hepatic glucose output. Tau supplementation did not prevent obesity, but ameliorated glucose homeostasis in obT. Islets from ob mice presented a higher glucose-induced intracellular Ca2+ influx, NAD(P)H production and insulin release. Furthermore, α-cells from ob islets displayed a higher oscillatory Ca2+ profile at low glucose concentrations, in association with glucagon hypersecretion. In Tau-supplemented ob mice, insulin and glucagon secretion was attenuated, while Ca2+ influx tended to be normalized in β-cells and Ca2+ oscillations were increased in α-cells. Tau normalized the inhibitory action of somatostatin (SST) upon insulin release in the obT group. In these islets, expression of the glucagon, GLUT-2 and TRPM5 genes was also restored. Tau also enhanced MafA, Ngn3 and NeuroD mRNA levels in obT islets. Morphometric analysis demonstrated that the hypertrophy of ob islets tends to be normalized by Tau with reductions in islet and β-cell masses, but enhanced δ-cell mass in obT. Our results indicate that Tau improves glucose homeostasis, regulating β-, α-, and δ-cell morphophysiology in ob mice, indicating that Tau may be a potential therapeutic tool for the preservation of endocrine pancreatic function in obesity and diabetes.


Glucagon secretion Insulin secretion Obesity Somatostatin Taurine supplementation 



This study forms part of a PhD Thesis (JC Santos-Silva) and was supported by grants from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP 2009/54153-7), Conselho Nacional para o Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq 238836/2012-6) and Instituto Nacional de Obesidade e Diabetes (CNPq/FAPESP), Ministerio de Economia y competitividad BFU2011-28358 and Generalitat Valenciana PROMETEO/2011/080. The authors also thank Marise Carnelossi, Salomé Ramon and Maria Luisa Navarro for excellent technical assistance and Nicola Conran for editing English.

Conflict of interest

All contributing authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junia C. Santos-Silva
    • 1
  • Rosane Aparecida Ribeiro
    • 2
  • Jean F. Vettorazzi
    • 1
  • Esperanza Irles
    • 3
  • Sarah Rickli
    • 1
  • Patrícia C. Borck
    • 1
  • Patricia M. Porciuncula
    • 1
  • Ivan Quesada
    • 3
  • Angel Nadal
    • 3
  • Antonio C. Boschero
    • 1
  • Everardo M. Carneiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia Estrutural e Funcional, Instituto de Biologia, e Centro de Pesquisa em Obesidade e ComorbidadesUniversidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)CampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, NUPEM, Campus UFRJ-MacaéMacaéBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto de Bioingeniería y Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas, CIBERDEMUniversidad Miguel Hernández de ElcheElcheSpain

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