Vitamin B12-dependent taurine synthesis regulates growth and bone mass

Pablo Roman-Garcia, Isabel Quiros-Gonzalez, Lynda Mottram, Liesbet Lieben, Kunal Sharan, Arporn Wangwiwatsin, Jose Tubio, Kirsty Lewis, Debbie Wilkinson, Balaji Santhanam, Nazan Sarper, Simon Clare, George S. Vassiliou, Vidya R. Velagapudi, Gordon Dougan, Vijay K. Yadav*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Both maternal and offspring-derived factors contribute to lifelong growth and bone mass accrual, although the specific role of maternal deficiencies in the growth and bone mass of offspring is poorly understood. In the present study, we have shown that vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency in a murine genetic model results in severe postweaning growth retardation and osteoporosis, and the severity and time of onset of this phenotype in the offspring depends on the maternal genotype. Using integrated physiological and metabolomic analysis, we determined that B12 deficiency in the offspring decreases liver taurine production and associates with abrogation of a growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1 (GH/IGF1) axis. Taurine increased GH-dependent IGF1 synthesis in the liver, which subsequently enhanced osteoblast function, and in B12-deficient offspring, oral administration of taurine rescued their growth retardation and osteoporosis phenotypes. These results identify B12 as an essential vitamin that positively regulates postweaning growth and bone formation through taurine synthesis and suggests potential therapies to increase bone mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2988-3002
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


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