Taurine 8 pp 195-214 | Cite as

Taurine Effects on Emotional Learning and Memory in Aged Mice: Neurochemical Alterations and Differentiation in Auditory Cued Fear and Context Conditioning

  • Lorenz S. NeuwirthEmail author
  • Nicholas P. Volpe
  • Abdeslem El Idrissi
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 775)


Previously we have shown FVB/NJ mice given taurine acutely (i.e. 43 mg/kg/s.c. [aTau]) is anxiolytic, whereas chronically (0.05% w/v for >4 weeks [cTau]) produces anxiogenic phenotypes under select aversive behavioral experiments, but negated emotional contributions to acquisition learning and retention. Hyperexcitability induced in c-Tau mice is further exacerbated under stressful conditions compromising discrimination between cognitive vs. emotional learning. In the present study, we investigated differences between a-Tau and c-Tau mice using the auditory cued tone (ACTC) and context conditioning (CC) tests. Consistent with previous results, a-Tau mice exhibit less fear and increased inhibition, whereas c-Tau mice exhibit increased fear and decreased inhibition to ACTC and CC. Once fear conditioned, taurine mice become hypersensitive to novel environments and ACTC. Taurine brain levels are noted to increase in response to stressors as a neuroprotective mechanism against hyperexcitability. We suggest that c-Tau mice have increased accumulation of cysteamine (Cyst) and depleted somatostatin (SS) expression resulting in fear disregulation through GABAergic projection neurons in the limbic system, which are not seen in a-Tau mice. Our findings suggest that taurine causes not only varied phenotypic profiles of emotional fear learning, but are further complicated by the inability to associate cues with aversive stimuli due to potential auditory sensory overloading.


GABAA Receptor Aversive Stimulus Shock Intensity Freezing Behavior Context Conditioning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Acute taurine


Chronic taurine


Auditory cued tone conditioning


Context conditioning







This work was supported by PSC-CUNY and CSI. We would like to thank the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP-NSF) and the CSI-CSTEP program for supporting author L.S. Neuwirth. We would also like to acknowledge Michael Johnson Jr. for assistance with collecting and analyzing the behavior data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenz S. Neuwirth
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Nicholas P. Volpe
    • 1
  • Abdeslem El Idrissi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biology, 6S-320Neuroscience College of Staten IslandStaten IslandUSA
  2. 2.The Graduate CenterStaten IslandUSA
  3. 3.The Center for Developmental Neuroscience and Developmental DisabilitiesThe City University of New YorkStaten IslandUSA

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