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J Neurochem. 2004 Jun;89(5):1195-205.

Taurine-induced long-lasting potentiation in the rat hippocampus shows a partial dissociation from total hippocampal taurine content and independence from activation of known taurine transporters.

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Department of Pharmacodynamics, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


Perfusion with high millimolar levels of taurine evoked a long-lasting potentiation (LLP-TAU) of synaptic transmission in the Schaffer-collateral CA1 region of the rat hippocampus. Although LLP-TAU showed some correlations to increases in the total taurine content of hippocampal slices, it could not be blocked by the taurine transport inhibitor guanidinoethanesulfonic acid (GES), which was able to significantly reduce total slice taurine uptake. Inhibition of GABA transport by either nipecotic acid or beta-guanidinopropionate failed to abolish LLP-TAU and had no significant effect on taurine uptake. The combination of GES and nipecotic acid also had no significant effect on LLP-TAU. Experiments with transportable structural analogs of taurine (beta-aminoisobutyric acid, homotaurine, and isethionic acid) suggest that activation of classical taurine transport pathways does not always yield a robust LLP-TAU. Hippocampal LLP-TAU could be significantly attenuated, however, by pre-incubation with submillimolar levels of taurine. In summary, the development of LLP-TAU in the rat hippocampus appears to be associated with the intracellular accumulation rather than the activation of known transporters of taurine, but the precise means of its accumulation remains to be identified.

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