Taurine ameliorates chronic streptozocin-induced diabetic nephropathy in rats

H Trachtman, S Futterweit, J Maesaka, C Ma, E Valderrama, A Fuchs, A A Tarectecan, P S Rao, J A Sturman, T H Boles
American Journal of Physiology 1995, 269 (3 Pt 2): F429-38
We examined the effect of two endogenous antioxidant agents, taurine and vitamin E, on renal function in experimental diabetes. Male Sprague-Dawley rats, rendered diabetic with streptozocin (STZ), were assigned to one of the following groups: 1) untreated; 2) insulin treatment with 6 U Ultralente insulin/day in two doses; 3) taurine supplementation by 1% taurine in drinking water; and 4) vitamin E supplementation at 100 IU vitamin E/kg chow. Animals were kept for 52 wk. The survival rate was similar (70-90%) in all groups except vitamin E-treated animals, of which 84% died by 6 mo. At 52 wk, glomerular filtration rate was elevated in untreated and taurine-treated STZ rats compared with normal or insulin-treated diabetic rats. Taurine supplementation reduced total proteinuria and albuminuria by nearly 50%. This treatment also prevented glomerular hypertrophy, preserved immunohistochemical staining for type IV collagen in glomeruli, and diminished glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in diabetic animals. The changes in renal function and structure in taurine-treated diabetic rats were associated with normalization of renal cortical malondialdehyde content, lowering of serum free Fe2+ concentration, and decreased formation of the advanced glycooxidation products, pentosidine, and fluorescence in skin collagen. Administration of the vitamin E-enriched diet exacerbated the nephropathy in STZ-diabetic rats. In addition, vitamin E supplementation increased serum free Fe2+ concentration, enhanced renal lipid peroxidation, and accelerated the accumulation of advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs) in skin collagen. We conclude that administration of taurine, but not vitamin E, to rats with STZ-diabetes ameliorates diabetic nephropathy. The beneficial effect of taurine is related to reduced renal oxidant injury with decreased lipid peroxidation and less accumulation of AGEs within the kidney.

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