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Taurine Treatment Alleviates Intestinal Mucositis Induced by 5-Fluorouracil in Mice


Taurine (Tau), a β-amino acid, exists in red goji fruit (Lycium barbarum L.). It exerts many cellular physiological functions such as anti-inflammation and oxidation resistance. The chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil (5FU) can cause intestinal mucositis. However, current therapeutic approaches for mucositis have limited efficacy and are associated with various side effects. It is still unknown whether Tau can alleviate intestinal mucositis. This study aimed to investigate the protective effect of the Tau in a mucositis mouse model and elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. The intestinal mucositis symptoms were alleviated by the Tau administration as evidenced by decreased body weight loss, histopathological score, oxidative stress, and improved glutathione (GSH). The Tau supplementation strengthened intestinal epithelial tight junction and reduced serum lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels in intestinal mucositis mice. Moreover, the 5FU-induced inflammatory responses were alleviated by Tau treatment via the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2/heme oxygenase-1 (Nrf2/HO-1) and nuclear factor kappa-B/inducible nitric oxide synthase (NF-κB/iNOS) signaling pathway. Tau administration modulated short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the colon of mice. The results indicated that the Tau might be a new dietary strategy for intestinal mucositis caused by 5FU.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32102128), the Key Science & Technology Specific Projects of Anhui Province (2020b06050001, 201903b06020003), and the Funds of Huangshan Professorship of Hefei University of Technology (407-037019).

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Correspondence to Ling Yan or Lei Zheng.

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Jinjin Wang and Liyang Wei contributed equally to this work.

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Wang, J., Wei, L., Liu, C. et al. Taurine Treatment Alleviates Intestinal Mucositis Induced by 5-Fluorouracil in Mice. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 77, 399–404 (2022).

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  • Taurine
  • Goji
  • 5-Fluorouracil
  • Inflammation
  • Intestinal permeability