Taurine 5 pp 189-196 | Cite as

Osmosensitive Taurine Release

Does Taurine Share the Same Efflux Pathway With Chloride and Other Amino Acid Osmolytes?
  • Rodrigo Franco
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 526)


Swelling subsequent to hyposmotic conditions activates a process of volume regulation present in most cell types. This volume adjustment is accomplished by osmolyte translocation towards the extracellular space to reach a new osmotic equilibrium. Molecules involved in this homeostatic mechanism have been broadly classified into two categories: organic and inorganic osmolytes. Inorganic osmolytes comprise mainly the intracellular ions K+ and Cl-. Cell swelling-induced activation of separate K+ and Cl- channels has been described in most preparations. Organic osmolytes are grouped in three categories: amino acids, polyalcohols and methylamines. These osmolytes, particularly taurine, are present in high intracellular concentrations and may also play a role as cytoprotectants1. Amino acids are part of the organic osmolyte pool contributing to RVD in most cells1,2. Among them, taurine has been studied in detail mainly due to its metabolic inertness, and it is often considered as representative of all osmolyte amino acids.


Regulatory Volume Decrease Niflumic Acid Organic Osmolyte Taurine Release Amino Acid Release 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodrigo Franco
    • 1
  1. 1.Biophysics, Institute of Cell PhysiologyNational University of MexicoMexico CityMexico

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