Release of Taurine and Its Effects on Release of Neurotransmitter Amino Acids in Rat Cerebral Cortex
Taurine has been postulated to function as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator. The possibility of depolarization-evoked release of taurine from nerve terminals, and the effects of taurine on release of endogenous glutamate (Glu), aspartate (Asp), and γ-aminobutyrate (GABA) were examined using a superfusion of crude synaptosomes prepared from rat cerebral cortex. Taurine contents in cerebral cortex and its synaptosomes were 31.7 and 25.2 nmol/mg protein, respectively. Although the basal rate of taurine release was 35.3 pmol/min/mg protein of synaptosomes (second highest releasing rate), the 2-min stimulation with KC1 (30 mM) evoked only a 1.3-fold increase in release of taurine (47.3 pmol/min/mg). The increase was largely Ca2+-dependent. The addition of taurine to the perfusion medium significantly reduced the depolarization-evoked increases in Glu, Asp, and GABA release. The taurine-induced reduction in GABA release was attenuated by phaclofen, a GABAB antagonist, but not by bicuculline, a GABAA antagonist. However, these antagonists did not block the effects on Glu and Asp release. These data suggest that taurine may be only partly released from nerve terminals by depolarization in the cerebral cortex, but that taurine may act upon nerve terminals to regulate the release of excitatory and inhibitory amino acid transmitters.
KeywordsNerve Terminal Gaba Release Neurotransmitter Amino Acid Taurine Release Taurine Content
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