The renoprotective effects of taurine against diabetic nephropathy via the p38 MAPK and TGF-β/Smad2/3 signaling pathways

Ural C., Celik A., Ozbal S., Guneli E., Arslan S., Ergur B. U., ...More

AMINO ACIDS, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00726-023-03342-w
  • Journal Name: AMINO ACIDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Communication Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Diabetic nephropathy, NOX4, Oxidative stress, p38 MAPK, Smad2/3, Taurine
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Diabetic nephropathy (DN), a severe diabetes complication, causes kidney morphological and structural changes due to extracellular matrix accumulation. This accumulation is caused mainly by oxidative stress. Semi-essential amino acid derivative taurine has powerful antioxidant and antifibrotic effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the renoprotective effects of taurine through its possible roles in oxidative stress, extracellular matrix proteins, and the signaling pathways associated with the accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins in DN rats. 29 Wistar albino rats were randomly separated into control, taurine, diabetes, and diabetes + taurine groups. Diabetes animals were injected 45 mg/kg streptozosine. Taurine is given by adding to drinking water as 1% (w/v). Urine, serum, and kidney tissue were collected from rats for biochemical and histological analysis after 12 weeks. According to the studies, taurine significantly reduces the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), total oxidant status (TOS), and protein expression of NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) that increase in diabetic kidney tissue. Also, decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity levels significantly increased with taurine in diabetic rats. Moreover, increased mRNA and protein levels of fibronectin decreased with taurine. The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 activities and their mRNA levels increased significantly, and this increase was significantly summed with taurine. There was a decrease in mRNA expression of Extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (EMMPRIN). Taurine significantly increased this decrease. Diabetes increased mRNA expressions of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta and Smad2/3. Taurine significantly reduced this induction. TGF-beta protein expression, p38, and Smad2/3 activations were also inhibited, but taurine was suppressed significantly. All these findings indicate that taurine may be an effective practical strategy to prevent renal diabetic injury.