Taurine System in the Normal and Ischemic Rat Hippocampus

  • Jang-Yen Wu
  • Flemming F. Johansen
  • Chin-Tarng Lin
  • Jie-Wen Liu
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 217)


Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is one of the most abundant amino acids in brain (14,19). There is a growing body of evidence indicating that taurine has significant effects on various aspects of CNS function. Taurine has been suggested as a putative inhibitory transmitter based on the following observations: First of all, taurine has anti-epileptic actions (9,34), depresses specific retinal responses (5), and is inhibitory when applied directly onto neurons in spinal cord (6,7,22), cerebral cortex (4), cerebellum (10,23–27), and hippocampus (33,43). Secondly, high affinity uptake into neuronal terminals in cerebral cortex (20,29,36) and calcium-dependent release in retina have been reported (43). Thirdly, specific binding has been reported in several areas of the CNS including retina, cerebral cortex and cerebellum (21,28). Finally, the taurine synthetic enzyme, cysteine sulfinic acid decarboxylase (CSAD), has been localized by immunocytochemical methods to certain neurons of cerebellum (2,3), retina (17,18), and hippocampus (33,34); in retina, the enzyme has been further localized to synaptic vesicles (18). In addition to a possible transmitter role, taurine has also been suggested to play an important role in the development of mammalian CNS (11,32,35), in calcium metabolism (8,16,21) and in maintaining the structural integrity of the retina, at least in some species (1,13).


Dentate Gyrus Pyramidal Neuron Molecular Layer GABAergic Neuron Hilar Region 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jang-Yen Wu
    • 1
  • Flemming F. Johansen
    • 2
  • Chin-Tarng Lin
    • 1
  • Jie-Wen Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityHersheyUSA
  2. 2.Institute of NeuropathologyUniversity of CopenhagenDenmark

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