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

Oscillatory potentials and light microscopic changes demonstrate an interaction between zinc and taurine in the developing rat retina.

Our objective was to investigate whether zinc interacts with taurine to influence the development of retinal structure and function. Virgin female Sprague-Dawley rats were bred overnight and assigned to one of four treatments in a 2 x 2 factorial design with two levels of zinc (50 micrograms/g through gestation and 50 micrograms/g after parturition; 15 micrograms/g through gestation and 7.5 micrograms/g after parturition) and two levels of taurine (2 or 0 mumol/g). The control diet contained 50 micrograms/g zinc and 2 mumol/g taurine. Guanidinoethyl sulfonate (10 g/L), a taurine transport inhibitor, was added to the drinking water of the rats receiving 0 mumol/g taurine. At postnatal d 23, male pups (n = 10) were weaned onto their respective diets. Pup eyes were examined by biomicroscope and indirect ophthalmoscope at 4 and 7 wk; retinal folds and choroidal atrophy were detected in the pups deficient in zinc and taurine. Analysis of plasma zinc and tibial zinc concentrations revealed a significant interaction in these tissues (P < 0.05). Dark-adapted oscillatory potentials (OP) were recorded at 7.5-8.5 wk. Two-way ANOVA showed a significant interaction between zinc and taurine for OP2 and OP3 amplitudes; marginal zinc deficiency decreased the amplitude of the OP only when rats were also deficient in taurine. A significant depressing effect of marginal zinc deficiency was noted for OP1 amplitude. Taurine deficiency significantly depressed the amplitude of OP1 and OP4. Histological examination of the retinas from rats deficient in both zinc and taurine revealed photoreceptor degeneration and confirmed retinal dysplasia. These data provide evidence for an interaction between zinc and taurine in retinal morphology and function.[1]


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