Taurine 8 pp 53-68 | Cite as

The Modulatory Role of Taurine in Retinal Ganglion Cells

  • Zheng Jiang
  • Simon Bulley
  • Joseph Guzzone
  • Harris Ripps
  • Wen ShenEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 775)


Taurine (2-aminoethylsuphonic acid) is present in nearly all animal tissues, and is the most abundant free amino acid in muscle, heart, CNS, and retina. Although it is known to be a major cytoprotectant and essential for normal retinal development, its role in retinal neurotransmission and modulation is not well understood. We investigated the response of taurine in retinal ganglion cells, and its effect on synaptic transmission between ganglion cells and their presynaptic neurons. We find that taurine-elicited currents in ganglion cells could be fully blocked by both strychnine and SR95531, glycine and GABAA receptor antagonists, respectively. This suggests that taurine-activated receptors might share the antagonists with GABA and glycine receptors. The effect of taurine at micromolar concentrations can effectively suppress spontaneous vesicle release from the presynaptic neurons, but had limited effects on light-evoked synaptic signals in ganglion cells. We also describe a metabotropic effect of taurine in the suppression of light-evoked response in ganglion cells. Clearly, taurine acts in multiple ways to modulate synaptic signals in retinal output neurons, ganglion cells.


Ganglion Cell GABAA Receptor Bipolar Cell Amacrine Cell Glycine Receptor 
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.



Outer plexiform layer


Inner plexiform layer


Outer nuclear layer


Inner nuclear layer


Ganglion cell layer


Central nervous system



This work was supported by research grants to WS from NSF (1021646) and NIH (EY14161).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zheng Jiang
    • 1
  • Simon Bulley
    • 1
  • Joseph Guzzone
    • 1
  • Harris Ripps
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wen Shen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical ScienceCharles E Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ophthalmology and Visual SciencesUniversity of Illinois College of MedicineChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Marine Biological LaboratoryWoods HoleUSA

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