The Effect of Taurine on Hepatic Steatosis Induced by Thioacetamide in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is one of the most prevalent forms of chronic liver disease in the Western world. Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid in humans that may be a promising therapy for treating this disease.


To evaluate the effect of taurine on hepatic steatosis induced by thioacetamide in Danio rerio.


Animals were divided into four groups: control (20 μl of saline solution), taurine (1,000 mg/kg), thioacetamide (300 mg/kg), and the taurine-thioacetamide group (1,000 + 300 mg/kg). Thioacetamide was injected intraperitoneally three times a week for 2 weeks. The mRNA expression, lipoperoxidation, antioxidant enzymatic activity, and histological analyses were evaluated in the liver and the triglyceride content was assessed in the serum.


Thioacetamide injection induced steatosis, as indicated by histological analyses. The lipoperoxidation showed significant lipid damage in the thioacetamide group compared to the taurine-thioacetamide group (p<0.001). Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the taurine-thioacetamide group (5.95 ± 0.40) was significantly increased compared to the thioacetamide group (4.14 ± 0.18 U SOD/ mg of protein) (p<0.001). The mRNA expression of SIRT1 (0.5-fold) and Adiponectin receptor 2 (0.39-fold) were lower in the thioacetamide group than the control (p<0.05). TNF-αmRNA expression was 6.4-fold higher in the thioacetamide group than the control (p<0.05). SIRT1 mRNA expression was 2.6-fold higher in the taurine-thioacetamide group than in the thioacetamide group.


Taurine seems to improve hepatic steatosis by reducing oxidative stress and increasing SIRT1 expression.

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