Effect of taurine on alcoholic liver disease in rats

Amino Acids. 2009 Mar;36(3):457-64. doi: 10.1007/s00726-008-0101-2. Epub 2008 May 29.


To investigate the effect of taurine on alcoholic liver disease in rats, male Wistar rats were administered alcohol intragastrically for 3 months. The effect of beta-alanine-mediated taurine depletion and taurine administration on the development of alcoholic liver disease was examined. It was found that taurine administration produced lower levels of aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline aminotransferase than that of the untreated group. In addition, the levels of hepatic total protein, glutathione and superoxide dismutase were higher in the taurine treated groups than those in the untreated control or the taurine depleted groups, while hepatic malondialdehyde content exhibited the negative effect. Moreover, the concentrations of hepatic hydroxyproline, serum hyaluronic acid, interleukin-2, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and laminin were all decreased in the taurine treated groups. The pathological changes showed that the percentage of fatty degeneration and inflammation in the taurine groups were lower than that of the control, taurine depleted and automatic recovery groups. These in vivo findings demonstrate that hepatic disease caused by chronic alcohol consumption can be prevented and cured by administration of taurine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Cytoprotection*
  • Ethanol / toxicity
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Hyaluronic Acid / blood
  • Hydroxyproline / metabolism
  • Interleukin-2 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Laminin / blood
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / blood
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / pathology
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Taurine / administration & dosage*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-6
  • Laminin
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Taurine
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Ethanol
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, rat
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Glutathione
  • Hydroxyproline