The aim of this study was to clarify the protective role of taurine in neuronal apoptosis and the role of the Wnt/PCP-Jnk pathway in mediating the preventive effects of taurine on neural tube defects (NTDs). HT-22 cells (a hippocampal neuron cell line) were divided into a control group, a glutamate-induced apoptosis group, and glutamate (4.0 mmol/L) plus low-dose taurine (L; 0.5 mmol/L) and high-dose taurine (H; 2.0 mmol/L) groups. The MTT assay was used to monitor cell proliferation and cell survival. Immunofluorescence and Western blot analyses were used to determine caspase 9 expression. Retinoic acid (RA) induced embryonic NTDs in Kunming mice, thus establishing an NTD model. Pregnant mice were divided into a control group, an RA (30 mg/kg body weight) group, and an RA (30 mg/kg body weight) plus taurine (free drinking of 2 g/L solution) group. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses were used to detect the expression of Dvl, RhoA and phosphorylated (p)-Jnk/Jnk in the embryonic neural tubes. In HT-22 cells, the apoptosis rate was significantly higher and caspase 9 activation was also significantly increased in the glutamate-induced apoptosis group compared to the L and H taurine groups. In the NTD model, the expression levels of Dvl, RhoA, and p-Jnk were significantly higher in the RA group than in the control group, whereas they were significantly reduced in the RA + taurine group. This study suggests that taurine has positive effects on neuronal protection and NTD prevention. Moreover, the Wnt/PCP-Jnk-dependent pathway plays an important role in taurine-mediated prevention of NTDs.
Amino Acids – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 17, 2017
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