Taurine Levels and Localization in Pancreatic Islets
Taurine is present in most mammalian tissues including the pancreas. In this organ, taurine appears to be specifically concentrated in the islets as was reported 25 years ago using semi-quantitative techniques2. Experiments confirming these data or studies on the implications of taurine on pancreatic physiology have been scarce. It has been shown, for instance, that taurine administration strongly suppresses glucose-stimulated secretion of insulin from isolated mice islets15, and also that intraperitoneal injection of taurine inhibits the increase in serum insulin induced by glucose administration8. On the contrary, it has been reported very recently that taurine enhances glucose-stimulated insulin release by cultured rat fetal islets4. Clinical studies linking taurine and pancreatic pathological situations are almost absent. It has been shown, however, that taurine plasma levels are low in diabetic patients and that supplementation with this amino acid reduces the increased tendency towards platelet aggregation in these patients5. These data indicate possible functional roles of taurine in the pancreas, and thus, a re-evaluation of its presence and cellular distribution in the islet needs to be carried out. The aim of this study was to determine taurine levels in the pancreatic islets by using a quantitative biochemical method, and also to localize the taurine distribution among the different cell types of the rat pancreas by immunohistochemical techniques.
KeywordsPancreatic Islet Exocrine Pancreas Endocrine Pancreas Taurine Level Taurine Content
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