Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 583–594 | Cite as

Taurine Protects from Pentylenetetrazole-Induced Behavioral and Neurochemical Changes in Zebrafish

  • Barbara D. FontanaEmail author
  • Paola R. Ziani
  • Julia Canzian
  • Nathana J. Mezzomo
  • Talise E. Müller
  • Matheus M. dos Santos
  • Vania L. Loro
  • Nilda V. Barbosa
  • Carlos F. Mello
  • Denis B. RosembergEmail author


Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures, which culminate in various neurobehavioral and neurochemical changes. Taurine (TAU) is an amino sulfonic acid which acts an endogenous inhibitory neuromodulator. Moreover, TAU displays intrinsic antioxidant activity, contributing to its beneficial actions in the CNS. Here, we evaluated whether TAU pretreatment protects from pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced behavioral alterations and oxidative stress-related parameters in zebrafish brain tissue. Fish were pretreated with 42, 150, and 400 mg/L TAU (40 min) and further exposed to 10 mM PTZ (20 min) to analyze the seizure-like behaviors. As a positive control, another group was previously treated with 75 μM diazepam (DZP). Afterwards, biochemical experiments were performed. All TAU concentrations tested decreased seizure intensity in the first 150 s. Importantly, 150 mg/L TAU attenuated seizure-like behavioral scores, decreased seizure intensity, reduced the frequency of clonic-like seizures (score 4), and increased the latency to score 4. TAU (150 mg/L) also prevented oxidative stress in PTZ-challenged fish by decreasing lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation and preventing changes on nonprotein thiol levels. No significant changes were observed in MTT assay and LDH activity. Differently than observed in DZP group, TAU did not affect the overall swimming activity of fish, suggesting different mechanisms of action. Collectively, we show that TAU attenuates PTZ-induced seizure-like behaviors and brain oxidative stress in zebrafish, suggesting the involvement of antioxidant mechanisms in neuroprotection.


Epilepsy Seizure-like behaviors Neuroprotection Pentylenetetrazole Oxidative stress Zebrafish 


Author Contributions

All authors contributed to the preparation of the manuscript and approved the final version.

Funding Information

This study received financial support and fellowships from Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa e Tecnologia (CNPq) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES). NJM and BDF were recipients of CAPES fellowships. DBR, CFM, NVB, and VLL receive CNPq research productivity grants. The funders had no influence on the study design, the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, as well as writing and submission of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All experimental procedures were approved by the Ethics Commission on Animal Use of the Federal University of Santa Maria (protocol number 8707070316).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Experimental Neuropsychobiology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Natural and Exact Sciences CenterFederal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Graduate Program in Biological Sciences: Toxicological BiochemistryFederal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  3. 3.Graduate Program in PharmacologyFederal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  4. 4.The International Zebrafish Neuroscience Research Consortium (ZNRC)SlidellUSA

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