Metabolome analyses assisted by capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS) have allowed us to systematically grasp changes in small molecular metabolites under disease conditions. We applied CE-MS to mine out biomarkers in hepatic ischemia-reperfusion. Rat livers were exposed to ischemia by clamping of the portal inlet followed by reperfusion. Metabolomic profiling revealed that 1 contents of taurine in liver and plasma were significantly increased. Of interest is an elevation of hypotaurine, collectively suggesting significance of hypotaurine/taurine in post-ischemic responses. Considering the anti-oxidative capacity of hypotaurine, we examined if supplementation of the compound or its precursor amino acids could affect hepatocellular viability and contents of taurine in liver and plasma. Administration of hypotaurine, N-acetylcysteine or methionine upon reperfusion comparablly attenuated the post-ischemic hepatocellular injury but with different metabolomic profiling among groups: rats treated with methionine or N-acetylcysteine but not those treated with hypotaurine, exhibited significant elevation of hepatic lactate generation without notable recovery of the energy charge. Furthermore, the group treated with hypotaurine exhibited elevation of the plasma taurine, suggesting that the exogenously administered compound was utilized as an antioxidant. These results suggest that taurine serves as a surrogate marker for ischemia-reperfusion indicating effectiveness of hypotaurine as an energy-saving hepato-protective amino acid.
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