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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of taurine uptake on the induction of long-term synaptic potentiation.

Taurine application in the CA1 area of rat hippocampal slices induces a long-lasting potentiation of excitatory synaptic transmission that has some mechanistic similitude with the late phase of long-term potentiation (L-LTP). Previous indirect evidence such as temperature and sodium dependence indicated that taurine uptake is one of the primary steps leading to the taurine-induced synaptic potentiation. We show that taurine-induced potentiation is not related to the intracellular accumulation of taurine and is not impaired by 2-guanidinoethanesulphonic acid, a taurine transport inhibitor that is a substrate of taurine transporter. We have found that taurine uptake in hippocampal synaptosomes was inhibited by SKF 89976A, a GABA uptake blocker that is not transportable by GABA transporters. SKF 89976A prevents the induction of synaptic potentiation by taurine application. This effect is neither mimicked by nipecotic acid, a broad inhibitor of GABA transporters that does not affect taurine uptake, nor by NO-711, a specific and potent inhibitor of GABA transporter GAT-1. In addition, L-LTP induced by trains of high-frequency stimulation is also inhibited by SKF 89976A, and taurine, at a concentration that does not change basal synaptic transmission, overcomes such inhibition. We conclude that taurine induces synaptic potentiation through the activation of a system transporting taurine and that taurine uptake is required for the induction of synaptic plasticity phenomena such as L-LTP.[1]


  1. Role of taurine uptake on the induction of long-term synaptic potentiation. del Olmo, N., Suárez, L.M., Orensanz, L.M., Suárez, F., Bustamante, J., Duarte, J.M., Martín del Río, R., Solís, J.M. Eur. J. Neurosci. (2004) [Pubmed]
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