Observations on the Action of Taurine at Arterial and Cardiac Levels

  • F. Franconi
  • A. Giotti
  • S. Manzini
  • F. Martini
  • I. Stendardi
  • L. Zilletti
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 139)


Taurine exerts a positive inotropic effect in guinea-pig hearts (1,2,3,4,5). This effect seems to be mediated by calcium. In fact, Dolara et al. (2,6) suggest that taurine modifies calcium exchange, and Huxtable and Bressler (7) demonstrate that taurine modifies calcium binding and uptake in rat muscle endoplasmic reticulum. As regards calcium binding to rat myocardial plasma membranes the data are in contrast, indicating that taurine both increases (8) and decreases (9) this binding. In order to clarify the action of taurine on cardiac contraction we studied the effect of taurine on guinea-pig ventricular strips at different calcium concentrations, and the interaction between taurine and calcium antagonists on the same preparations. At the same time, since it is likely that the key factor in the activation of contractile response in smooth muscle is a rise in the cytoplasmic free calcium concentration (10), it seemed of interest to study also the effect of this sulfonic aminoacid on vascular smooth muscle.


Calcium Antagonist Negative Inotropic Effect Positive Inotropic Effect Taurine Concentration Calcium Paradox 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Dietrich, J., and Diacono, J., 1971, Comparison between ouabain and taurine on isolated rat and guinea-pig hearts in low calcium medium, Life Sci., 10: 499–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dolara, P., Agresti, A., Giotti, A., and Pasquini, G., 1973, Effect of taurine on calcium kinetics of guinea-pig heart, Eur. J. Pharmacol., 24: 352–358.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chubb, J., and Huxtable, R., Transport and biosynthesis of taurine in the stressed heart, in: “Taurine and Neurological Disorders,” A. Barbeau and R. Huxtable, eds., Raven Press, New York (1978), pp. 161–178.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dolara, P., Ledda, F., Mugelli, A., Mantelli, L., Zilletti, L., Franconi, F., and Giotti, A., Effect of taurine on calcium, inotropism and electrical activity in the heart, in: “Taurine and Neurological Disorders,” A. Barbeau and R. Huxtable, eds., Raven Press, New York (1978), pp. 151–159.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Guidotti, A., and Giotti, A., 1970, Taurine antagonizes the negative effect of low calcium perfused hearts,Rec. Prog. Med. ( Roma ), 49: 61–67.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dolara, P., Agresti, A., Giotti, A., and Sorace, E., 1976, The effect of taurine on calcium exchange of sarcoplasmic reticulum of guinea-pig heart studied by means of dialysis kinetics, Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol., 54: 529–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Huxtable, R, and Bressler, R., 1973, Effect of taurine on a muscle intracellular membranes, Biochim. Biophys. Acta., 323: 573–583.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chovan, J., Kulakowski, E.C., Benson, B.W., and Schaffer, S.W., 1979, Taurine enhancement of calcium binding to rat heart sarcolemma, Biochim. Biophys. Acta., 551: 129–136.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Azari, J., and Huxtable, R.J., 1980, The mechanism of the adrenergic stimulation of taurine influx in the heart, Eur. J. Pharmacol., 61: 217–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Perry, S.V., and Grand, R.J., 1979, Mechanism of contraction and specialized protein components of smooth muscle, Brit. Med. Bull., 35: 219–226.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Franconi, F., Martini, F., Manghi, N., Galli, A., Bennardini, F., and Giotti, A., 1980, Uptake of 3H taurine into myocardial membranes, Biochem. Pharmacol., in press.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chovan, J.P., Kulakowski, E.C., Sheakowski, S., and Schaffer, S.W., 1980, Calcium regulation by the low affinity taurine binding sites of cardiac sarcolemma, Mol. Pharmacol. 17: 295–300.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kass, R.S., and Tsien, R.W., 1975, Multiple effects of calcium antagonist on plateau currents in cardiac Purkinje fibers, J. Gen. Physiol., 36: 169–192.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kohldart, M., and Mnich, Z., 1978, Studies on the inhibitory effect of verapamil and the slow inward current in mammalian ventricular myocardium, J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol., 10: 1037–1052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fleckestein, A., Specific inhibitors and promotors of calcium action in the excitation-contraction coupling of heart muscle and their role in the prevention of production of myocardial lesions, in: “Calcium and Heart,” L. Opie and P. Harris, eds., Academic Press, London, New York (1971), pp. 135–188.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nayler, W.G., Mas-Oliva, J., and Williams, J.A., 1980, Cardiovascular receptors and calcium, Circ. Res. Supp. I, 46: 161–166.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nayler, W.G., and Szeto, J., 1972, Effects of verapamil on contractility, oxygen utilization and calcium exchangeability in mammalian heart muscle. Cardiovasc. Res., 6: 120–128.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dunnett, J., and Nayler, W.G., 1978, Calcium efflux from cardiac sarcoplasmic retículum: effect of calcium and magnesium, J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol., 10: 487–498.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Khatter, J.C., Soni, P.L., Hoeschen, R.J., Alto, L.E., and Dhalla, N.S., Subcellular effects of taurine on guinea-pig heart, in: “Actions of taurine on excitable tissues, S.W. Schaffer, J.J. Kocsis and S.I. Baskin, eds., Spectrum Press, New York (1981), in press.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Welty, J.D., and Welty, M.C., The effects of taurine on sub-cellular calcium dynamics in the normal and cardiomyopathic hamster heart, in: “Actions of taurine on excitable tissues, S.W. Schaffer, J.J. Kocsis and S.I. Baskin, eds., Spectrum Press, New York (1981), in press.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mc Broom, M.J., and Welty, J.D., 1977, Effects of taurine on heart calcium in the cardiomyopathic hamster, J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol., 9: 853–858.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Chovan, J., Kramer, J., and Schaffer, S., 1979, Protection by taurine of calcium paradox damage, J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. II (SI): 15.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dolara, P., Marino, P., and Buffoni, F., 1973, The effect of taurine on calcium uptake and oxygen consumption of rat liver mitochondria, Biochem. Pharmacol., 22: 2085–2094.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Guidotti, A., Badiani, G., and Giotti, A., 1971, Potentiation by taurine of inotropic effect of strophantin-K on guinea-pig isolated auricles, Pharmac. Res. Comm., 3: 29–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Iwata, H., and Fujimoto, S., 1976, Potentiation by taurine of the inotropic effect of ouabain and the content of intracellular Cat+ and taurine in the heart, Exp., 32: 1559–1560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Read, W.O., and Welty, J.D., 1963, Effect of taurine on digoxin and epinephrine irregularities of the dog heart, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 139: 283–289.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Fujimoto, S., 1977, Inhibitory effect of taurine on decrease in the inotropic action of ouabain at high concentrations in isolated atria, 33: 1350–1351.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Droogmans, G., Raeymaekers, and Casteels, R., 1977, Electroand Pharmacomechanical coupling in the smooth muscle cells of the rabbit ear artery, J. Gen. Physiol., 70: 129–148.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gruener, R., Markovitz, D., Huxtable, R., and Bressler, R., 1975, Excitability modulation by taurine, J. Neurol. Sci., 24: 351–360.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Franconi
    • 1
  • A. Giotti
    • 1
  • S. Manzini
    • 2
  • F. Martini
    • 1
  • I. Stendardi
    • 1
  • L. Zilletti
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Interfacolta’ di Farmacologia e Tossicologiadell’Universita’ di FirenzeItaly
  2. 2.Reparto FarmacologicoLaboratorio Ricerche “A. Menarini”FirenzeItaly

Personalised recommendations