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Taurine in innate immunity & rheumatoid arthritis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disorder affecting approximately 1% of  the population and leading eventually to joint deformation, dysfunction and disability in most diseased individuals27.

  • Taurine is the most abundant free amino acid in humans and plays an important role in several essential biological processes. Moreover,  attenuation of apoptosis and its antioxidant activity seem to be crucial for the cytoprotective effects of taurine. Taurine reaches particularly high concentrations in tissues exposed to elevated levels of oxidants (e.g., inflammatory cells). It suggests that taurine may play an important role in inflammation associated with oxidative stress. Indeed, at the site of infammation, taurine is known to react with and detoxify hypochlorous acid generated by the neutrophil myeloperoxidase (MPO)–halide system. This reaction results in the formation of less toxic taurine chloramines (TauCl). Taurine and taurine haloamines have well documented role in acute inflammation27.

  • Acute infammation is a physiological response of tissues to harmful stimuli. This response mediated predominantly by innate immunity is responsible for elimination of injurious stimuli and initiations of healing process. The major cells involved in acute in ammation are neutrophils: phagocytes responsible for microbial killing and for generation of various proinfammatory mediators27.

  • The high taurine levels in phagocytes and accumulation of taurine in infammatory lesions suggests its role in innate immunity. Taurine chloramine normalizes pathogenic functions of rheumatoid FLS27.