Taurine 8 pp 45-52 | Cite as

Direct Interaction of Taurine with the NMDA Glutamate Receptor Subtype via Multiple Mechanisms

  • Christopher Y. ChanEmail author
  • Herless S. Sun
  • Sanket M. Shah
  • Mervan S. Agovic
  • Ivana Ho
  • Eitan Friedman
  • Shailesh P. Banerjee
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 775)


Taurine has neuroprotective capabilities against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity through several identified mechanisms including opening of the Clchannel associated with GABAAand glycine receptors, or a distinct Clchannel. No existing work has however shown a direct interaction of taurine with the glutamate NMDA receptor. Here we demonstrate such direct interactions using electrophysiological and receptor binding techniques on rat medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC) slices and well-washed rat cortical membrane. Electrically evoked field potential responses were recorded in layer 4/5 of mPFC in the presence of picrotoxin to prevent opening of Clchannels gated by GABA or taurine. Applied taurine markedly diminished evoked-response amplitude at the peak and latter phases of the response. These phases were predominantly sensitive to the NMDA antagonist, MK-801, but not the AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist CNQX. Furthermore, this taurine effect was blocked by APV pretreatment. Taurine (0.1 mM) decreased spermine-induced enhancement of specific (3H) MK-801 binding to rat cortical membrane in the presence of glycine, though it was ineffective in the absence of spermine. Our preliminary work shows that taurine diminished the apparent affinity of NMDA receptor to glycine in the presence of spermine. These results indicate that taurine may directly interact with the NMDA receptor through multiple mechanisms.


NMDA Receptor Glutamate NMDA Receptor Receptor Binding Assay Artificial Cerebral Spinal Fluid Negative Current Pulse 
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.



(RS)-α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid


Artificial cerebral spinal fluid


Dl-2-Amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid




Gamma-aminobutyric acid


Medial prefrontal cortex




6-Aminomethyl-3-methyl-4H-1,2,4-benzothiadiazine 1,1-dioxide



This work was supported by DA018055 grant from NIDA and by a PSCCUNY-award 63679-0041.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Y. Chan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Herless S. Sun
    • 1
  • Sanket M. Shah
    • 1
  • Mervan S. Agovic
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ivana Ho
    • 1
  • Eitan Friedman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shailesh P. Banerjee
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Pharmacology & NeuroscienceSophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at CCNY, CUNYNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Neuroscience Subprogram, Doctoral Programs in BiologyGraduate Center of CUNYNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyBronx Community College, CUNYNew YorkUSA

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