Taurine Supplementation and Pancreatic Remodeling
Taurine is a semi-essential sulphur containing amino acid derived from methionine and cysteine metabolism. Taurine has several biological processes such as hypoglycemic action, antioxidation, and detoxification. In this study we evaluated the role of taurine in pancreatic islets development, since the endocrine pancreas undergoes significant modifications during neonatal life. Histological examination of the pancreas from taurine-fed mice revealed no histological abnormalities in the endocrine or exocrine parts of the pancreas. However, supplementation of taurine in the drinking water resulted in a drastic and significant increase in the number of islets per section. Furthermore, islets size was significantly larger. We hypothesize that supplementation of taurine, which is important for the development of the endocrine pancreas may reduce cytokine-induced apoptosis in pancreatic beta cells. The endocrine pancreas undergoes ignificant modifications during neonatal life and apoptosis is an important mechanism in this remodeling. We suggest that alteration of this remodeling process during this period of time, when a fine balance between cell replication and cell death is critical, would affect the development of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans, and could have important effects on the pancreatic cell mass and the endocrine function.
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