Amino Acids

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 245–254 | Cite as

Anti-obesity effect of taurine through inhibition of adipogenesis in white fat tissue but not in brown fat tissue in a high-fat diet-induced obese mouse model

  • Kyoung Soo KimEmail author
  • Min Ju Jang
  • Sungsoon Fang
  • Seul Gi Yoon
  • Il Yong Kim
  • Je Kyung Seong
  • Hyung-In Yang
  • Dae Hyun HahmEmail author
Original Article


This study was conducted to evaluate the anti-obesity effects of long-term taurine supplementation in a mild obese ICR mouse model and to study the mechanism by which taurine induces weight loss. Three groups of male ICR mice were fed a normal chow diet, a high-fat diet (HFD), or an HFD supplemented with 2% taurine in drinking water for 28 weeks. Body weight was measured every week. Metabolic, behavioral, and physiological monitoring were carried out using PhenoMaster at 28 weeks. Interscapular brown fat (BAT), inguinal white fat tissue (WAT), and quadriceps muscle were analyzed and compared to assess the change of gene expression related to adipogenesis. Taurine supplementation showed the trend of anti-obesity effect in ICR mice fed an HFD for 28 weeks. HFD-fed mice did not show significant difference of oxygen consumption (VO2), energy expenditure (EE), respiratory exchange rate (RER), and locomotive activity compared with those of normal chow diet fed mice. The expression of adipogenesis-related genes such as PPAR-α, PPAR-γ, C/EBP-α, C/EBP-β, and AP2 increased in BAT and WAT, but not in muscle tissue. Taurine supplementation showed the downregulation of these genes in WAT but not in BAT or muscle. Consistently, the expression of taurine transporter (TauT) and adipocyte-specific genes such as adiponectin, leptin, and IL-6 was regulated in a similar pattern by taurine supplementation. Long-term taurine supplementation causes weight loss, most likely by inhibiting adipogenesis in WAT. TauT expression may be involved in the expression of various genes regulated by taurine supplementation.


Taurine Taurine transporter Adipogenesis White adipose tissue Brown adipose tissue 



The authors thank Dr. Kang Jong-Sun at Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine for critical reading and comments.


This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), which is funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (Grant number 2017R1D1AB03031409). This research was partly supported by the Korea Mouse Phenotyping Project (2013M3A9D5072550) of the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning through the National Research Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

All animal protocols were approved by the Committee on Animals of Kyung Hee University Hospital at GANGDONG (KHNMC AP 2016-009). There are no human participants.

Informed consent

Human tissues and sera were never used in this study. No informed consent is required.

Supplementary material

726_2018_2659_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (61 kb)
Supplementary material 1 Comparison of levels of glucose and lipid of Normal, HFD and HFD (2% taurine drinking water)-fed mice (n = 10). As described in Methods, after sacrifice at 28 weeks, the blood levels of glucose, total triglyceride, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins cholesterol (HDL-C) were measured by automated clinical chemistry analyzer, FUJI DRI-CHEM NX500 (FUJIFILM, Japan). Differences between three groups were analyzed using the nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis test (PPTX 60 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyoung Soo Kim
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Min Ju Jang
    • 1
  • Sungsoon Fang
    • 3
  • Seul Gi Yoon
    • 4
  • Il Yong Kim
    • 4
  • Je Kyung Seong
    • 4
    • 5
  • Hyung-In Yang
    • 2
  • Dae Hyun Hahm
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacology and TherapeuticsSchool of Medicine, Kyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.East–West Bone and Joint Disease Research InstituteKyung Hee University Hospital at GangdongSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Severance Biomedical Science Institute Gangnam Severance Hospital BK21 PLUS Project for Medical ScienceYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Laboratory of Developmental Biology and Genomics, Research Institute for Veterinary Science, BK21 PLUS Program for Creative Veterinary Science Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, and Korea Mouse Phenotyping Center (KMPC)Seoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Interdisciplinary Program for Bioinformatics, Program for Cancer Biology and BIO-MAX/N-Bio InstituteSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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