Abnormal Visual Acuity and Retinal Morphology in Rhesus Monkeys Fed a Taurine-Free Diet During the First Three Postnatal Months
Over ten years ago, taurine was identified as an essential nutrient for cats (7). Without a dietary source of this amino acid, such as their natural taurine-rich diet of meat and fish, both kittens and adult cats undergo a decline in plasma and tissue taurine levels, reduced electroretinogram amplitudes with prolonged peak latencies, and progressive retinal degeneration which eventually results in blindness (8,24,26). As Dr. Sturman describes elsewhere in this volume, taurine deprivation of pregnant cats and their kittens also produces more widespread nervous system disturbances, including abnormal development of the cerebellum and visual cortex (19,27). Although cats appear to be unique in the severity of the effects produced by dietary taurine deprivation, it is now clear that they are not the only species affected. Recent studies of both human children and infant monkeys show that changes in retinal structure and function are associated with taurine deprivation.
KeywordsRhesus Monkey Outer Segment Human Infant Retinal Degeneration Cone Photoreceptor
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 3.Blakemore, C., and Vital-Durand, F., 1981, Postnatal development of the monkey’s visual system, in: “The Fetus and Independent Life”, Ciba Foundation Symposium 86, Pitman, London, pp. 152–171.Google Scholar
- 9.Hendrickson, A., and Kupfer, C., 1976, The histogenesis of the fovea in the macaque monkey, Invest. Ophthalmol., 15:746–756.Google Scholar
- 13.Lake, N., and Cocker, S., 1986, The influence of lighting on the effects of taurine depletion in the rat retina, Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 27(Suppl. 3):57.Google Scholar
- 18.Neuringer, M., Sturman, J.A., Wen, G.Y., and Wisniewski, H.M., 1985, Dietary taurine is necessary for normal retinal development in monkeys, in: “Taurine: Biological Actions and Clinical Perspectives”, S.S. Oja, L. Ahtee, P. Kontro and M.K. Paasonen, eds., Alan R. Liss, New York, pp. 53–62.Google Scholar
- 22.Rapp, L.M., Thum, L.A., Tarver, A.P., and Wiegand, R.D., 1986, Vitamin E and taurine deficiency: Effects on the retina in cyclic light-maintained and light-damaged rats, Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 27(Suppl.3):131.Google Scholar
- 24.Schmidt, S.Y., Berson, E.L., and Hayes, K.C., 1976, Retinal degeneration in cats fed casein. I. Taurine deficiency, Invest. Ophthalmol., 15:45–52.Google Scholar
- 25.Schmidt, S.Y., Berson, E.L., and Hayes, K.C., 1976, Retinal degeneration in the taurine-deficient cat, Trans. Amer. Acad. Ophthalmol., 81:687–693.Google Scholar