Exercise and taurine in inflammation, cognition, and peripheral markers of blood-brain barrier integrity in older women

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2018 Jul;43(7):733-741. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0775. Epub 2018 Feb 23.


Immunosenescence contribute to increase the blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, leading cognitive impairment and neurodegeneration. Thus, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effect of exercise and taurine supplementation on peripheral markers of BBB, inflammation, and cognition of elderly women. Forty-eight elderly women (age, 83.58 ± 6.9 years) participated in the study, and were allocated into combined exercise training (CET: n = 13), taurine supplementation (TAU: n = 12), exercise training associated with taurine (CET+TAU: n = 11), or control (CG: n = 12) groups. Exercise was applied twice a week (multi-modal exercise). Taurine ingestion was 1.5 g., once a day. Participants were evaluated before and after 14-weeks of intervention. Plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-1ra, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and serum concentration of S100β and neuron specific enolase (NSE) were determined. The mini mental state examination (MMSE) was also applied. Concentrations of S100β were maintained in all intervention groups, while a subtle increase in the CG was found. NSE levels increased only in TAU group (p < 0.05). CET reduced TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β/IL-1ra, IL-6/IL10, and TNF-α/IL-10 ratios (p < 0.05). TAU decreased the IL-1β/IL-1ra ratio (p < 0.05). MMSE score increased only in the CET+TAU group (p < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis showed that there was a trend for changes in IL-1β and the Charlson Comorbidity Index to be independently associated with changes in S100β. Exercise and taurine decreased inflammation, and maintained the BBB integrity in elderly women. Exercise emerged as an important tool to improve brain health even when started at advanced ages.

Keywords: aging; brain; cerveau; cognition; inflammation; supplementation; supplémentation; taurine; vieillissement.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / drug effects*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / therapy*
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase / blood
  • Prospective Studies
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit / blood
  • Taurine / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • Taurine
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase