Stimulation of glucose utilization and inhibition of protein glycation and AGE products by taurine

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Abstract

Aim

Pathological effects of the process of non-enzymatic glycation of proteins are reflected in chronic complications of diabetes mellitus. We investigated the antiglycating effect of taurine in high fructose fed rats in vivo and the inhibiting potency of taurine in the process of in vitro glycation. Additionally, we investigated whether taurine enhances glucose utilization in the rat diaphragm.

Methods

Rats fed a high fructose diet (60% total calories) were provided 2% taurine solution for 30 days. The effects of taurine on plasma glucose, fructosamine, protein glycation and glycosylated haemoglobin in high fructose rats were determined. For in vitro glycation a mixture of 25 mM glucose and 25 mM fructose was used as glycating agent, bovine serum albumin as the model protein and taurine as the inhibitor. Incubations were carried out in a constant temperature bath at 37 °C for 3–30 days. Amadori products and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) formed were measured. In vitro utilization of glucose was carried out in the rat diaphragm in the presence and absence of insulin in which taurine was used as an additive.

Results

The contents of glucose, glycated protein, glycosylated haemoglobin and fructosamine were significantly lowered by taurine treatment to high fructose rats. Taurine prevented in vitro glycation and the accumulation of AGEs. Furthermore, taurine enhanced glucose utilization in the rat diaphragm. This effect was additive to that of insulin and did not interfere with the action of insulin.

Conclusions

These results underline the potential use of taurine as a therapeutic supplement for the prevention of diabetic pathology.

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