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Taurine plays an important role in the protection of spermatogonia from oxidative stress

Abstract

It has been demonstrated that taurine has various physiological functions in the body. We demonstrated that taurine is abundant in the serum, liver, muscle and testis of the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica). In the eel testis, taurine is found mainly in spermatogonia and is weakly expressed also in the Sertoli cells. We have further found in the eel testis that taurine is actively accumulated via the sodium/chloride-dependent taurine transporter (TauT; SLC6A6), which is expressed in germ cells. In our current study, the effects of taurine on the anti-oxidant response were examined. Taurine was found to promote the total superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the testis. Moreover, our results indicate that taurine does not affect the mRNA levels of copper–zinc (Cu/Zn) SOD or manganese SOD, but promotes the translation of Cu/Zn SOD. Overall, our present data suggest that taurine may modulate Cu/Zn SOD at the translational level and thereby may play an important role in the protection of germ cells from oxidative stress.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and by grants from the Global COE program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of the Japanese government.

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Correspondence to Takeshi Miura.

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Higuchi, M., Celino, F.T., Shimizu-Yamaguchi, S. et al. Taurine plays an important role in the protection of spermatogonia from oxidative stress. Amino Acids 43, 2359–2369 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-012-1316-9

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Keywords

  • Taurine
  • Cu/Zn SOD
  • Spermatogonia
  • Oxidative stress
  • Japanese eel