Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) deficiency creates a vicious circle promoting obesity

Endocrinology. 2006 Jul;147(7):3276-84. doi: 10.1210/en.2005-1007. Epub 2006 Apr 20.


The relation between blood taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) concentrations and obesity was investigated. Taurine is supplied to the body by dietary ingestion as well as by de novo synthesis; it is anabolized by cysteine dioxygenase (CDO), which is abundantly expressed in liver and white adipose tissue. Overexpression of CDO in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes caused a decrease in the level of cysteine (precursor of taurine) and an increase in the level of taurine in the culture medium, suggesting that CDO is involved in biosynthesis and secretion of taurine in white adipose tissue. In high-fat diet-induced and/or genetically obese mice, a decrease in the blood taurine concentration was observed along with a decrease in CDO expression in adipose tissue but not in liver. Dietary taurine supplementation prevented high-fat diet-induced obesity with increased resting energy expenditure. Thus, taurine deficiency observed in association with obesity may create a vicious circle promoting obesity. Dietary taurine supplementation interrupts this vicious circle and may prevent obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Animals
  • Culture Media / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese
  • Models, Biological
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Rats
  • Taurine / deficiency*
  • Taurine / physiology*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Culture Media
  • Taurine