2020 Volume 66 Issue 4 Pages 347-356
Calorie restriction (CR) by 30-40% decreases morbidity of age-related diseases and prolongs the lifespan of various laboratory animal species. Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is an important nutrient for lipid metabolism as it conjugates bile acids. Here, we investigated how taurine supplementation induces effects similar to the CR beneficial effects. Sprague Dawley rats were fed a diet containing different taurine concentrations (0, 0.5, 1.0, 3.0, 5.0%) to analyze the effects on growth, blood, and hepatic parameters. Rats fed a 5% taurine-supplemented diet showed a significant decrease in visceral fat weight, compared with control rats. Moreover, there were significant decreases in the serum total cholesterol, hepatic cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in the taurine-supplemented groups compared with the control group in a dose-dependent manner. These results were associated with decreased mRNA expression of fatty acid synthase, and increased mRNA expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1α. C57BL/6 mice were fed a 5.0% taurine-supplemented diet, and their response to 3-nitropropionic acid-induced oxidative stress was analyzed. The rate of weight loss due to oxidative stress decreased and the survival rate significantly increased in the taurine-supplemented groups compared with the control group. Finally, cells were treated with 100 μM taurine and their resistance to UV-induced oxidative stress was analyzed. We found that the p53-Chk1 pathway was less activated in taurine-treated cells compared with control cells. Furthermore, damage to cells evaluated by oxidative stress indicators revealed a reduction in oxidative damage with taurine treatment. These findings suggest that taurine partially acts as a CR mimetic.