The modulatory role of taurine in retinal ganglion cells

Zheng Jiang, Simon Bulley, Joseph Guzzone, Harris Ripps, Wen Shen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Taurine (2-aminoethylsuphonic acid) is present in nearly all animal tissues, and is the most abundant free amino acid in muscle, heart, CNS, and retina. Although it is known to be a major cytoprotectant and essential for normal retinal development, its role in retinal neurotransmission and modulation is not well understood. We investigated the response of taurine in retinal ganglion cells, and its effect on synaptic transmission between ganglion cells and their presynaptic neurons. We fi nd that taurine-elicited currents in ganglion cells could be fully blocked by both strychnine and SR95531, glycine and GABAA receptor antagonists, respectively. This suggests that taurine-activated receptors might share the antagonists with GABA and glycine receptors. The effect of taurine at micromolar concentrations can effectively suppress spontaneous vesicle release from the presynaptic neurons, but had limited effects on light-evoked synaptic signals in ganglion cells. We also describe a metabotropic effect of taurine in the suppression of light-evoked response in ganglion cells. Clearly, taurine acts in multiple ways to modulate synaptic signals in retinal output neurons, ganglion cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTaurine 8
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1: The Nervous System, Immune System, Diabetes and the Cardiovascular System
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781461461296
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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