Taurine improves glucose tolerance in STZ-induced insulin-deficient diabetic mice
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Blood glucose levels fluctuate considerably in diabetic patients with reduced secretion of endogenous insulin. We previously reported that glucagon is secreted excessively in these patients and that taurine increases glucagon secretion in vitro. Therefore, we hypothesized that glucose tolerance would further deteriorate when taurine was administered to diabetic mice incapable of insulin secretion. We generated four groups of streptozotocin (STZ)-treated C57BL/6J mice (STZ-mice): STZ-mice without taurine treatment (STZ-Con), STZ-mice treated with 0.5% (w/v) taurine (STZ-0.5% Tau), STZ-mice treated with 1% (w/v) taurine (STZ-1% Tau), and STZ-mice treated with 2% (w/v) taurine (STZ-2% Tau). Mice were treated for 4 weeks, and then, we evaluated glucose tolerance, pancreatic β-cell area and α-cell area, pancreatic insulin and glucagon content, and daily blood glucose variability. As a result, following the administration of taurine, glucose tolerance improved, both pancreatic β- and α-cell area increased, and both insulin and glucagon content increased. In the 1% taurine administration group, blood glucose variability decreased. These unexpected results suggest that taurine improves glucose tolerance, in spite of its subsequent increased glucagon production, partly by increasing pancreatic β-cells and insulin production in vivo.
KeywordsInsulin-dependent diabetes Taurine Glucagon Glucose variability
This study was supported by a Grant-in-aid (25461367) from the Ministry of Science, Education and Culture of Japan (to Y.M–M.).
Compliance with ethical standards
All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.
Conflict of interest
TH. has received honoraria from Novo Nordisk Pharma for lectures. A.I. has received honoraria from Eli Lilly Japan for lectures. Y.N., Y.M–M., M.B-T., and J.T. declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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