Antioxidant and Osmoprotecting Activity of Taurine in Dry Eye Models

J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2018 Jan/Feb;34(1-2):188-194. doi: 10.1089/jop.2017.0008. Epub 2017 Aug 3.


Purpose: To assess the protective effects of ophthalmic formulations based on taurine (TAU) and sodium hyaluronate (SH) in ocular surface.

Methods: Rabbit corneal epithelial cells [Statens Seruminstitut Rabbit Cornea (SIRC)] were subjected to oxidative stress (1 mM H2O2) and treated with the following formulations: 0.2% SH, 0.4% SH, 0.4% SH +0.5% TAU. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) were evaluated by commercial kit. Dry eye was induced by atropine sulfate and topical treatment was carried out with the following formulations: 0.2% SH, 0.4% SH, 0.4% SH +0.5% TAU. Schirmer's test, tear breakup time (TBUT), and tear osmolarity were evaluated. Furthermore, tear matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) expression was assessed by Western blot.

Results: TAU significantly (P < 0.05) decreased ROS production in SIRC after oxidative stress. Topical administration of atropine in the rabbit eye significantly (P < 0.05) reduced tear volume and TBUT. Tear osmolarity was also significantly (P < 0.05) modified by atropine treatment. All the altered parameters were significantly (P < 0.05) reversed by 0.5% TAU +0.4% SH treatment; furthermore, this formulation was more effective than SH alone. Moreover, tear levels of MMP-9 were significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the group treated with 0.5% TAU +0.4% SH.

Conclusions: Altogether these data suggest that TAU has a relevant antioxidant effect in corneal epithelial cells and prevents the ocular surface damage elicited by atropine. Therefore, our findings suggest that TAU in combination with SH may be useful in clinical practice to manage ocular surface diseases.

Keywords: corneal cells; dry eye disease; oxidative stress; taurine.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Atropine
  • Cell Line
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cornea / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / chemically induced
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / drug therapy*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Hyaluronic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Hyaluronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rabbits
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Taurine / administration & dosage
  • Taurine / pharmacology*
  • Tears / drug effects
  • Tears / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Taurine
  • Atropine
  • Hyaluronic Acid