Neuroscience letters

The neuroprotective effects of taurine against nickel by reducing oxidative stress and maintaining mitochondrial function in cortical neurons.

PMID 25637701


Previous studies have indicated that oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are involved in the toxicity of nickel. Taurine is recognized as an efficient antioxidant and is essential for mitochondrial function. To investigate whether taurine could protect against the neurotoxicity of nickel, we exposed primary cultured cortical neurons to various concentrations of nickel chloride (NiCl2; 0.5mM, 1mM and 2mM) for 24h or to 1mM NiCl2 for various periods (0 h, 12h, 24h and 48 h). Our results showed that taurine efficiently reduced lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release induced by NiCl2. Along with this protective effect, taurine pretreatment not only significantly reversed the increase of ROS production and mitochondrial superoxide concentration, but also attenuated the decrease of superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and glutathione (GSH) concentration in neurons exposed to NiCl2 for 24h. Moreover, nickel exposure reduced ATP production, disrupted the mitochondrial membrane potential and decreased mtDNA content. These types of oxidative damage in the mitochondria were efficiently ameliorated by taurine pretreatment. Taken together, our results indicate that the neuroprotective effects of taurine against the toxicity of nickel might largely depend on its roles in reducing oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial function. Taurine may have great pharmacological potential in treating the adverse effects of nickel in the nervous system.