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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2014, Article ID 840951, 11 pages
Research Article

Taurine Rescues Cisplatin-Induced Muscle Atrophy In Vitro: A Morphological Study

1Division of Anatomy and Physiopathology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Brescia University, Viale Europa 11, 25123 Brescia, Italy
2Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, Brescia University, Viale Europa 11, 25123 Brescia, Italy
3Department of Information Engineering, CNR-IDASC Sensor Laboratory, Brescia University, Via Valotti 9, 25123 Brescia, Italy
4Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e Dell’Emilia-Romagna, Via A. Bianchi 7/9, 25124 Brescia, Italy

Received 24 January 2014; Revised 27 March 2014; Accepted 17 April 2014; Published 13 May 2014

Academic Editor: Elaine Hatanaka

Copyright © 2014 Alessandra Stacchiotti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cisplatin (CisPt) is a widely used chemotherapeutic drug whose side effects include muscle weakness and cachexia. Here we analysed CisPt-induced atrophy in C2C12 myotubes by a multidisciplinary morphological approach, focusing on the onset and progression of autophagy, a protective cellular process that, when excessively activated, may trigger protein hypercatabolism and atrophy in skeletal muscle. To visualize autophagy we used confocal and transmission electron microscopy at different times of treatment and doses of CisPt. Moreover we evaluated the effects of taurine, a cytoprotective beta-amino acid able to counteract oxidative stress, apoptosis, and endoplasmic reticulum stress in different tissues and organs. Our microscopic results indicate that autophagy occurs very early in 50 μM CisPt challenged myotubes (4 h–8 h) before overt atrophy but it persists even at 24 h, when several autophagic vesicles, damaged mitochondria, and sarcoplasmic blebbings engulf the sarcoplasm. Differently, 25 mM taurine pretreatment rescues the majority of myotubes size upon 50 μM CisPt at 24 h. Taurine appears to counteract atrophy by restoring regular microtubular apparatus and mitochondria and reducing the overload and the localization of autophagolysosomes. Such a promising taurine action in preventing atrophy needs further molecular and biochemical studies to best define its impact on muscle homeostasis and the maintenance of an adequate skeletal mass in vivo.