Taurine restores ethanol-induced depletion of antioxidants and attenuates oxidative stress in rat tissues

Amino Acids. 2004 Aug;27(1):91-6. doi: 10.1007/s00726-004-0066-8. Epub 2004 Apr 26.


Ethanol by its property of generating free radicals during the course of its metabolism causes damage to cell structure and function. The study investigates the protective effects of the antioxidant aminoacid taurine on ethanol-induced lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status. Male Wistar rats of body weight 170-190 g were divided into 4 groups and maintained for 28 days as follows: a control group and taurine-supplemented control group, taurine supplemented and unsupplemented ethanol-fed group. Ethanol was administered to rats at a dosage of 3 g/kg body weight twice daily and taurine was provided in the diet (10 g/kg diet). Lipid peroxidation products and antioxidant potential were quantitated in plasma and in following tissues liver, brain, kidney and heart. Increased levels of thiobarbituric acid substances (TBARS) and lipid hydroperoxides (LHP) in plasma and tissues, decreased activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were observed in hemolysate and tissues of ethanol-fed rats. The contents of reduced glutathione (GSH), alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic acid in plasma and tissues were significantly reduced in these animals as compared to control animals. Simultaneous administration of taurine along with ethanol attenuated the lipid peroxidation process and restored the levels of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. We propose that taurine may have a bioprotective effect on ethanol-induced oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / metabolism
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Taurine / chemistry
  • Taurine / pharmacology*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Vitamin E / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Vitamin E
  • Taurine
  • Ethanol
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Ascorbic Acid