Taurine 8 pp 407-425 | Cite as

Taurine Regulation of Blood Pressure and Vasoactivity

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 775)


Taurine plays an important role in the modulation of cardiovascular function by acting not only within the brain but also within peripheral tissues. We found that IV injection of taurine to male rats caused hypotension and tachycardia. A single injection of taurine significantly lowered the systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure in freely moving Long–Evans control rats. We further confirm the vasoactive properties of taurine using isolated aortic ring preparations. Mechanical responses of circular aortic rings to pharmacological agents were measured by an isometric force transducer and amplifier. We found that bath application of taurine to the aortic rings caused vasodilation which was blocked by picrotoxin. Interestingly, picrotoxin alone induced a constriction of the aortic ring in the absence of exogenously added taurine, suggesting a tonic activation of GABAAreceptors by circulating either taurine or GABA. Additionally, we found that the endothelial cells express high levels of taurine transporters and GABAAreceptors. We have previously shown that taurine activates GABAAreceptors and thus we suggest that the functional implication of GABAAreceptor activation is the relaxation of the arterial muscularis, vasodilation, and a decrease in blood pressure. Interestingly however, the effects of acute taurine injection were very different than chronic supplementation of taurine. When rats were supplemented taurine (0.05%, 4 weeks) in their drinking water, taurine has significant hypertensive properties. The increase in blood pressure was observed however only in females; males supplemented with taurine did not show an increase in systolic, diastolic, or mean arterial pressure. In both genders however, taurine supplementation caused a significant tachycardia. Thus, we suggest that acute administration of taurine may be beneficial to lowering blood pressure. However, our data indicate that supplementation of taurine to females caused a significant increase in blood pressure. The effect of taurine supplementation on hypertensive rats remains to be seen.


Peripheral Resistance Aortic Ring Bath Application Taurine Supplementation Taurine Transporter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.





Glutamic acid decarboxylase


γ-Aminobutyric acid



This study was funded by a fellowship to E.O. from CUNY Summer Undergraduate Research Program (C-SURP) and CSI.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Center for Developmental Neuroscience, College of Staten IslandCity University of New York Graduate SchoolStaten IslandUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyCity University of New York Graduate SchoolStaten IslandUSA
  3. 3.Center for Developmental NeuroscienceCity University of New York Graduate SchoolStaten IslandUSA

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