Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 401, Issue 2, pp 193–197 | Cite as

Release of labelled taurine from the rat dorsal medulla and cerebellum in vivo

  • N. Bernardi
  • J. A. Assumpção
  • C. G. Dacke
  • N. Davidson
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology


Stimulus-induced release of labelled taurine has been studied in the superfused rat cerebellar cortex and dorsal medulla in vivo. In the cerebellum both elevated potassium and electrically induced depolarization consistently produced marked increases in the efflux of exogenously applied taurine in a calcium-dependent fashion. Veratridine-stimulation evoked a large Ca2+-independent taurine efflux which was, however, prevented by tetrodotoxin. In the dorsal medulla, both high K+ and veratridine induced a clear Ca2+-independent increase in taurine efflux. Electrical stimulation was always ineffective in changing taurine efflux from the dorsal medulla. These data strongly support a possible neurohumoral role for taurine in the cerebellum but not in the dorsal medulla.

Key words

Cerebellum Dorsal medulla Taurine Neuromodulator Amino acid Neurotransmitter 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Assumpção JA, Bernardi N, Dacke CG, Davidson N (1976) A superfusion technique for isotope efflux studies and concurrent electrophysiological investigation in the rat cuneate nucleus. J Physiol 263:231–232PGoogle Scholar
  2. Assumpção JA, Bernardi N, Dacke CG, Davidson N, Eichelberger HG (1979) Purkinje cell uptake in vivo of [3H]taurine in the rat cerebellum. J Physiol 298:35–36PGoogle Scholar
  3. Barbeau A, Inoue N, Tsukada Y, Butterworth RF (1975) The neuropharmacology of taurine. Life Sci 17:669–678Google Scholar
  4. Bernardi N, Assumpção JA, Dacke CG, Davidson N (1977) Calcium-dependent increase in efflux of [1-3H]taurine from the superfused rat cerebellar cortex in vivo. Pflügers Arch 372:203–205Google Scholar
  5. Bernardi N, Dacke CG, Davidson N (1978) Increased in vivo [1-3H]taurine efflux from cerebellar cortex evoked by direct electrical stimulation. J Physiol 280:14PGoogle Scholar
  6. Blaustein MP (1975) Effects of potassium, veratridine and scorpion venom on calcium accumulation and transmitter release by nerve terminals in vitro. J Physiol 247:617–655Google Scholar
  7. Cattterall WA (1975) Activation of the action potential Na+ ionophore of cultured neuroblastoma cells by veratridine and batrachotoxin. J Biol Chem 250:4053–4059Google Scholar
  8. Collins GGS (1974) The rates of synthesis, uptake and disappearance of14C-taurine in eight areas of the rat central nervous system. Brain Res 76:447–459Google Scholar
  9. Collins GGS (1977) On the role of taurine in the mammalian central nervous system. In: Youdin MBH, Lovenberg W, Sharman DF, Lagnado JR (eds) Essays in neurochemistry and neuropharmacology, vol 1. John Wiley and Sons, London, pp 43–72Google Scholar
  10. Collins GGS, Topiwala SH (1974) The release of14C-taurine from slices of rat cerebral cortex and spinal cord evoked by electrical stimulation and high potassium ion concentrations. Br J Pharmacol 50:451–452PGoogle Scholar
  11. Cunningham, J, Neal MJ (1981) On the mechanism by which veratridine causes a calcium-independent release of γ-amino-butyric acid from brain slices. Br J Pharmacol 73:655–667Google Scholar
  12. Davidson N (1976) Neurotransmitter amino acids. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Davison AN, Kaczmarek LK (1971) Taurine — a possible neurotransmitter? Nature 234:107–108Google Scholar
  14. Davson H (1970) Physiology of the cerebrospinal fluid. Churchill, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. De Feudis FV, Black WC (1973) Entry of water, metabolic substrates and extracellular space markers into various structures of mouse brain in vivo. Experientia 29:414–416Google Scholar
  16. Felix D, Künzle H (1976) The role of proline in nervous transmitter. Adv Biochem Psychopharmacol 15:165–173Google Scholar
  17. Frederickson RCA, Neuss M, Morzorati SL, McBride WJ (1978) A comparison of the inhibitory effects of taurine and GABA on identified Purkinje cells and other neurons in the cerebellar cortex of the rat. Brain Res 145:117–126Google Scholar
  18. Gähwiler BH (1976) Spontaneous bioelectric activity of cultured Purkinje cells during exposure to glutamate, glycine and strychnine. J Neurobiol 7:97–107Google Scholar
  19. Haas HL, Hösli L (1973) The depression of brain stem neurones by taurine and its interaction with strychnine and bicuculine. Brain Res 52:399–402Google Scholar
  20. Hannuniemi R, Oja SS (1978) Uptake of amino acids by bulkisolated neurons and astrocytes. Neurosci Lett (Suppl) 1:258Google Scholar
  21. Hösli L, Haas HL, Hösli E (1973) Taurine — a possible transmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. Experientia 29:743–744Google Scholar
  22. Iversen LL (1977) Uptake and release of GABA and GABA in Huntington's chorea. Psychopharmacol Bull 13:30–31Google Scholar
  23. Llinás RR (1976) The cortex of the cerebellum. In: Thompson RF (ed) Progress in psychobiology. WH Freeman and Co, San Francisco, pp 224–235Google Scholar
  24. Lombardini JB (1976) Regional and subcellular studies on taurine in the rat central nervous system. In: Huxtable R, Barbeau A (eds) Taurine. Raven Press, New York, pp 311–326Google Scholar
  25. Lombardini JB (1977) High affinity uptake systems for taurine in tissue slices and synaptosomal fractions prepared from various regions of the rat central nervous system. Correction of transport data by different experimental procedures. J Neurochem 29:305–312Google Scholar
  26. Lowe DA, Richardson BP, Taylor P, Donatsch P (1976) Increasing intracellular sodium triggers calcium release from bound pools. Nature 260:337–338Google Scholar
  27. Mandel P, Pasantes-Morales H (1976) Taurine: a putative neuro-transmitter. In: Costa E, Giacobini E, Paoleti R (eds) Advances in biochemical psychopharmacology, vol 15. Raven Press, New York, pp 141–151Google Scholar
  28. Marnela K-M, Kontro P, Ja SS (1978) Free amino acids of synaptosomes and synaptic vesicles in bovine brain regions. Neurosci Lett (Suppl) 1:261Google Scholar
  29. McBride WJ, Nadi NS, Altman J, Aprison MH (1976) Effects of selective doses of X-irradiation on the levels of several amino acids in the cerebellum of the rat. Neurochem Res 1:141–152Google Scholar
  30. Meddis R (1975) Statistical handbook for non-statisticians. McGraw-Hill Book Company Ltd, LondonGoogle Scholar
  31. Nadi NS, McBride WJ, Aprison MH (1977) Distribution of several amino acids in regions of cerebellum of the rat. J Neurochem 28:453–455Google Scholar
  32. Neal MJ, Bowery NG (1979) Differential effects of veratridine and potassium depolarization on neuronal and glial GABA release. Brain Res 167:337–343Google Scholar
  33. Okada Y, Hassler R (1973) Uptake and release of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in slices of substantia nigra of rat. Brain Res 49:214–217Google Scholar
  34. Pasantes-Morales H, Urban PF, Klethi J, Mandel P (1973) Light stimulated release of [35S]taurine from chicken retina. Brain Res 51:375–378Google Scholar
  35. Rassin DK, Gaull GE (1978) Taurine and other sulfur containing amino acids: their function in the central nervous system. In: Fonnum F (ed) Amino acids as chemical transmitters. Plenum Press, New York, pp 571–597Google Scholar
  36. Rohde BH, Rea MA, Simon JR, McBridge WJ (1979) Effects of X-irradiation induced loss of cerebellar granule cells on the synaptosomal levels and the high affinity uptake of amino acids. J Neurochem 32:1431–1435Google Scholar
  37. Shank RP, Aprison MH (1970) The metabolism in vivo of glycine and serine in eigh areas of the central nervous system. J Neurochem 17:1461–1475Google Scholar
  38. Srinivasan V, Neal MJ, Mitchell JF (1969) The effect of electrical stimulation and high potassium concentrations on the efflux of [3H]γ-aminobutyric acid from brain slices. J Neurochem 16:1235–1244Google Scholar
  39. Stinnakre J (1977) Calcium movements across synaptic membranes and the release of transmitter. In: Cotrell GA, Usherwood PNR (eds) Synapses. Blackie and Son Ltd, Glasgow, pp 117–136Google Scholar
  40. Ulbricht W (1969) The effect of veratridine on excitable membranes of nerve and muscle. Ergeb Physiol 61:18–71Google Scholar
  41. Vargas F, Erlij D, Glusman S (1977) Transmitter release by glial cells in the frog's spinal cord. Fed Proc 36:553Google Scholar
  42. Villegas J, Sevcik C, Barnola FV, Villegas R (1976) Grayanotoxin, veratridine and tetrodoxin-sensitive sodium pathways in the Schwann cell membrane of squid nerve fibers. J Gen Physiol 67:369–380Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Bernardi
    • 1
  • J. A. Assumpção
    • 1
  • C. G. Dacke
    • 2
  • N. Davidson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyEscola Paulista de MedicinaSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Marischal CollegeUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

Personalised recommendations