Taurine and the Mitochondrion: Applications in the Pharmacotherapy of Human Diseases

The Importance of Appropriate Taurine Formulations to Target Mitochondria

Author(s): Reza Heidari and M. Mehdi Ommati

Pp: 308-327 (20)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815124484123010014

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


As repeatedly mentioned in the current book, taurine (TAU) is a very hydrophilic molecule. Hence, the passage of this amino acid through the physiological barriers (e.g., blood-brain barrier; BBB) is weak. In this context, experimental and clinical studies that mentioned the positive effects of TAU on CNS disorders administered a high dose of this amino acid (e.g., 12 g/day). For example, in an animal model of hepatic encephalopathy, we administered 1 g/kg of TAU to hyperammonemic rats to preserve their brain energy status and normalize their locomotor activity. In some cases, where anticonvulsant effects of TAU were evaluated; also, and a high dose of this amino acid was used (150 mg/kg). In other circumstances, such as investigations on the reproductive system, the blood-testis barrier (BTB) could act as an obstacle to the bioavailability of TAU. On the other hand, recent studies mentioned the importance of targeted delivery of molecules to organelles such as mitochondria. These data mention the importance of appropriate formulations of this amino acid to target brain tissue as well as cellular mitochondria. Perhaps, TAU failed to show significant and optimum therapeutic effects against human disease (e.g., neurological disorders) because of its inappropriate drug delivery system. Therefore, targeting tissues such as the brain with appropriate TAU-containing formulations is critical. The current chapter discusses possible formulations for bypassing physiological barriers (e.g., blood-brain barrier; BBB or BTB) and effectively targeting subcellular compartments with TAU. These data could help develop effective formulations for managing human diseases (e.g., CNS disorders or infertility issues in men).

Keywords: Amino acid, Drug delivery, Drug therapy, Mitochondria, Mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, Oxidative stress.

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