Multiple mechanisms mediate the taurine-induced proliferation of neural stem/progenitor cells from the subventricular zone of the adult mouse

Stem Cell Res. 2014 May;12(3):690-702. doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2014.02.009. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


Taurine was previously reported to increase the proliferation of neural precursor cells (NPCs) from subventricular zone of the mouse brain. The results of a study that aimed to understand the mechanisms of this effect are presented here. Because taurine was not found in NPC nuclei, direct interactions with nuclear elements seem unlikely. A gene expression profile analysis indicated that genes that are regulated by taurine have roles in i) proliferation, including the Shh and Wnt pathways; ii) cellular adhesion; iii) cell survival; and iv) mitochondrial functioning. Cell cycle analysis of propidium iodide and CFSE-labeled cells using flow cytometry revealed an increase in the number of cells in the S-phase and a decrease in those in the G0/G1 phase in taurine-treated cultures. No changes in the length of the cell cycle were observed. Quantification of the viable, apoptotic, and necrotic cells in cultures using flow cytometry and calcein-AM, annexin-V, and propidium iodide staining showed reductions in the number of apoptotic and necrotic cells (18% to 11% and 13% to 10%, respectively) and increases in the number of viable cells (61% to 69%) in the taurine-treated cultures. Examination of the relative mitochondrial potential values by flow cytometry and rhodamine123 or JC-1 staining showed a 44% increase in the number of cells with higher mitochondrial potential and a 38% increase in the mitochondrial membrane potential in taurine cultures compared with those of controls. Taken together, the results suggest that taurine provides more favorable conditions for cell proliferation by improving mitochondrial functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Lateral Ventricles / cytology*
  • Lateral Ventricles / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Taurine / metabolism*


  • Taurine