Elevated Blood Taurine Levels After Myocardial Infarction or Cardiovascular Surgery: Is There Any Significance?

  • M. Wayne Cooper
  • J. Barry Lombardini
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 139)


Though it is well known that cardiac tissue contains large quantities of taurine the function of taurine in the myocardium has not been defined. In rat cardiac tissue the content of taurine com­prises over 50% of the total free amino acids (9) with a level of approximately 100 μmoles/g dry weight (12). Not only is cardiac tissue high in taurine content but there is also an unequal distribu­tion throughout the myocardium. For example, it has been reported by both Kocsis and colleagues (10) and Crass and Lombardini (1) that atrial taurine content is significantly higher than ventricular content in the dog heart. Furthermore, both laboratories reported that a transmural gradient existed in the dog left ventricle with the highest taurine content being present in the subendocardium (1,10). While there are few reports of taurine content in human heart it appears that our species is no different from the rest of the animal kingdom in that we also harbor high levels of taurine in our cardiac tissue (7,8). Furthermore, the disparity in regional distribution of taurine in the human heart has been noted in our laboratory. However, the human heart differs from the dog heart in that the ventricular content of taurine is higher than the atrial content (unpublished observations).


Acute Myocardial Infarction Cardiac Tissue Coronary Care Unit Acute Myocardial Infarction Patient Total Free Amino Acid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Wayne Cooper
    • 1
  • J. Barry Lombardini
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology and TherapeuticsTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterLubbockUSA

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