Methods of Reducing Tissue Taurine Levels
Although high levels of taurine occur in heart and other tissues of a wide variety of species (Jacobsen and Smith, 1968; Kocsis et al., 1976), the function(s) of taurine in these extrahepatic tissues is not well established. Development of methods to reduce tissue taurine levels should prove useful in determining the functional roles of tissue (intracellular) as opposed to plasma (extracellular) taurine. A basis for developing such a method is the use of structural analogues of taurine that inhibit taurine transport. Among analogues known to inhibit taurine transport in vitro are beta-alanine, the carboxylic acid analogue of taurine; γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the homologue of beta-alanine; and taurocyamine, the guanidino analogue of taurine (Goldman and Scriver, 1967; Gaut and Nauss, 1976; Grosso et al., 1978). Beta-alanine has been shown to greatly increase the urinary excretion of taurine in mice (Gilbert et al., 1960) and rats (Kocsis and Kostos, 1963; Shaffer and Kocsis, 1978). The hypertaurinuria induced by such taurine analogues measures their ability to mobilize tissue taurine, since taurine displayed from tissue into plasma is not reabsorbed as efficiently by the renal tubules as other amino acids (Goldman and Scriver, 1967).
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