Background/aims: The aim of the study was to examine the effects of taurine on hepatic fibrogenesis and in isolated hepatic stellate cells (HSC).
Methods: The rats of the hepatic damage (HD) group were administered carbon tetracholoride (CCl4) for 5 weeks and a subgroup received, in addition, a 2% taurine containing diet for 6 weeks (HDT). The HSC were isolated from normal rats and cultured for 4 days.
Results: The hepatic taurine concentration was decreased in the HD group. This loss and the hepatic histological damage and fibrosis (particularly in the pericentral region), were reduced following taurine treatment. Furthermore, the hepatic alpha-SMA, lipid hydroperoxide and 8-OHdG levels in serum and liver, as well as hepatic TGF-beta1 mRNA and hydroxyproline levels were significantly increased in the HD group, and most of these parameters were significantly reduced following taurine treatment. In contrast to the MAP-kinase and Akt expressions, which remained unchanged, the lipid hydroperoxide and hydroxyproline concentrations, as well as TGF-beta1 mRNA levels were significantly reduced by taurine in activated HSC.
Conclusions: Oral taurine administration enhances hepatic taurine accumulation, reduces oxidative stress and prevents progression of hepatic fibrosis in CCl4-induced HD rats, as well as inhibits transformation of the HSC.