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Synergistic effect of ascorbic acid and taurine in the treatment of a spinal cord injury-induced model in rats

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in severe damage, which causes functional alterations together with loss of autonomic functions, sensations, and muscle functioning. This injury leads to apoptosis of neurons and oligodendrocytes, which further leads to dysfunction of the spinal cord due to axonal degeneration and demyelination. Taurine is non-proteogenic and an essential amino acid, which plays a major role in the growth and development of brain cells. Ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, is found in various foods and is known to prevent scurvy. In this study, we have investigated the therapeutic effect of ascorbic acid and taurine against SCI-induced rats. The rats were divided into the following groups: sham, control, 100 mg/kg of taurine, 100 mg/kg of ascorbic acid, and 100 mg/kg of taurine + 100 mg/kg of ascorbic acid. Treatment was continued daily for 45 consecutive days. The combined treatment of taurine and ascorbic acid decreased caspase-3, bax, pro-NGF, and p53 mRNA expression by more than 30% compared to individual treatments. The combined treatment of taurine and ascorbic acid reduced caspase-3 and p53 expression by 33.7% and 44%, respectively, compared to individual treatments. The combined treatment of taurine and ascorbic acid decreased mRNA expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6), cyclooxygenase-2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) compared to the individual treatments of taurine and ascorbic acid. The combined treatment of taurine and ascorbic acid also significantly recovered altered antioxidant markers, and induced lipid peroxidation to near normal levels. In summary, apoptotic, inflammatory and oxidative stress markers were significantly decreased in SCI-induced rats treated with taurine and ascorbic acid.

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Correspondence to Chao Chen.

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Chen, C., Yang, Q. & Ma, X. Synergistic effect of ascorbic acid and taurine in the treatment of a spinal cord injury-induced model in rats. 3 Biotech 10, 50 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-019-2032-x

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Keywords

  • Taurine
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Apoptosis
  • Inflammation