Introduction: Neurochemistry

  • Ryan J. Huxtable
  • Flavia Franconi
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 217)

Abstract

Methodology and insight go together like lock and key, each useless without the other. The first three chapters in this section present novel methodology, each of which promises to increase our ability to probe the biological functions of taurine. It is a well known story how the high concentration of acetylcholine receptors in the electroplax of Torpedo californica allowed their ready isolation, which in turn yielded tremendous progress in the understanding of acetylcholine receptors in mammals, where such receptors are present only in low concentrations. The discovery of taurine receptors on the sensilla of the spiny lobster has the promise of being of equal value in taurine research. Gleeson et al. show how this enriched source of taurine receptors may be readily obtained in a few seconds without decreasing the market value of the lobster. The taurine receptor on the sensilla is exposed to the environment, where it serves as a chemoceptor for detecting taurine in sea water. This system works together with other chemoceptors on the sensilla as a means for finding food sources. The sensitivity of the receptor is extreme, taurine concentrations as low as 10−12 M producing a response. Gleeson et al. have done exquisitely nice work recording electrical responses triggered by the receptor in single neurons. An other observation illustrating the potential significance of this receptor for mammalian studies is that the structure activity requirements are the same as those found for mammalian binding sites for taurine. The authors anticipate that this model will yield valuable insight in the understanding of taurine in recognition and response systems. The capability is there. Their hope, however, will only be realized if the appropriate laboratories take the appropriate steps to involve themselves in this problem.

Keywords

Free Amino Acid Quinolinic Acid Spiny Lobster Taurine Transport Sulfinic Acid 
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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Aldegunde, M., Miquez, T., Martin, I., and Fernandez Otero, M.P., 1983. Changes in brain monoamine metabolism associated with hypothermia induced by intraperitoneally administered taurine in the rat, IRCS Med. Sci. 11:258–259.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hamberger, A., Berthold, C.H., Jacobson, I., Karlsson, B., Lehmann, A., Nystrom, B., and Sandberg, M., 1985, In vivo brain dialysis of extracellular nontransmitter and putative transmitter amino acids, in; “In Vivo Perfusion and Release of Neuroactive Substances”, Bayon, A., and Drucker-Colin, R. eds., Academic Press, New York, pp. 119–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Huxtable, R., and Chubb, J., 1977, Adrenergic stimulation of taurine transport by the heart, Science 198:409–411.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Huxtable, R. J., Chubb, J., and Azari, J., 1980, Physiological and experimental regulation of taurine content in the heart, Fed. Proc. 39:2685–2690.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Huxtable, R.J., Laird, H., Bonhaus, D., and Thies, A.C., 1982, Correlations between amino acid concentrations in brains of seizure-susceptible and seizure-resistant rats, Neurochem. Int. 4:73–78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Huxtable, R.J., Laird, H.E., and Lippincott, S.E., 1979. The transport of taurine in the heart and the rapid depletion of tissue taurine content by guanidinoethyl sulfonate, J. Pharmacol. Exptl. Therap. 211:465–471.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Huxtable, R.J., and Sebring, L.A., 1986, Towards a unifying theory for the action of taurine, TIPS 7:481–485.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Iwata, H., and Baba, A., 1983. Neurochemical basis of cysteine sulfinic acid in the central nervous system, in: “Sulfur Amino Acids: Biochemical and Clinical Aspects”, Kuriyama, K., Huxtable, R.J., and Iwata, H. eds., Alan R. Liss, Inc., New York, pp. 141–150.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lerma, J., Herranz, A.S., Herreras, O., Abraira, V., and Del Rio, M., 1986, In vivo determination of extracellular concentration of amino acids in the rat hippocampus, A method based on brain” dialysis and computerized analysis, Brain Research 384:145–155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lombardini, J.B., 1978, High-affinity transport of taurine in the mammalian central nervous system, in: “Taurine and Neurological Disorders”, Barbeau, A., and Huxtable, R.J., eds., Raven Press, New York pp. 119–136.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rassln, D.K., 1982, Taurine, cysteine sulfinic acid decarboxylase and glutamic acid in brain, in: “Taurine in Nutrition and Neurology”, Huxtable, R.J., and Pasantes-Morales, H., eds., Plenum Press, New York, pp. 257–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Van Gelder, N.M., 1978, Taurine, the compartmentalized metabolism of glutamic acid, and the epilepsies, Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 56:362–374.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Vezzani, A., Ungerstedt, TJ., French, E.D., and Schwarcz, R., 1985, In vivo brain dialysis of amino acids and simultaneous EEG measurements following intrahippocampal quinolinic acid injection: evidence for a dissociation between neurochemical changes and seizures, J. Neurochem. 45:335–344.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wheler, G.H.T., and Klein, B.C., 1979, Cyclic AMP-induced release of C taurine from pinealocytes, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 90:20–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wheler, O.H.T., Weller, J.L., and Klein, D.C., 1979, Taurine: stimulation of pineal N-acetyltransferase activity and melatonin production via a beta-adrenergic mechanism, Brain Res. 166:65–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan J. Huxtable
    • 1
  • Flavia Franconi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, College of MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Cattedra di Saggi e Dosaggi FarmacologiciUniversità di SassariSassariItaly

Personalised recommendations