Cholesterol-rich diets are known to cause hepatic apoptosis, which has been associated with the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the mechanisms and treatments for hepatic apoptosis in SLE are poorly understood. To clarify the effects of taurine on hepatic apoptosis in SLE, NZB/W F1 mice received control, cholesterol, and cholesterol/taurine diets. Significant reductions of caspase-3 activity, TUNEL-positive cells, and Fas- and mitochondrial- dependent apoptosis were detected in liver from the cholesterol/taurine group as compared to the cholesterol group. Moreover, significant increases of phosphorylated AKT, NF-κB (p65), and ERK1/2 proteins were detected in liver from the cholesterol/taurine group as compared to the cholesterol group. In contrast, a significant reduction of phosphorylated p38 protein was observed in the cholesterol/taurine group. These experimental results demonstrated positive effects of taurine against hepatic apoptosis in NZB/W F1 mice fed a high-cholesterol diet and suggested the therapeutic potential of taurine in SLE.
JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY,56 (20),9685–9691.