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Neurochem Res. 2004 Jan;29(1):189-97.

Taurine as a modulator of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission.

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New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities and The Center for Developmental Neuroscience at The City University of New York, Staten Island, New York 10314, USA.


We present data that summarize our findings on the role of taurine in the central nervous system and in particular taurine's interaction with the inhibitory and excitatory systems. In taurine-fed mice, the expression level of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the enzyme responsible for GABA synthesis, is elevated. Increased expression of GAD was accompanied by increased levels of GABA. We also found in vitro, that taurine regulates neuronal calcium homeostasis and calcium-dependent processes, such as protein kinase C (PKC) activity. This calcium-dependent kinase was regulated by taurine, whereas the activity of protein kinase A (PKA), a cAMP-dependent, calcium-independent kinase, was not affected. Furthermore, as a consequence of calcium regulation, taurine counteracted glutamate-induced mitochondrial damage and cell death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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