Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Taurine—a Possible Neurotransmitter ?

Abstract

APART from the dicarboxylic acids, taurine is the most abundant amino-acid in the nervous system1, and yet very little is known about its function2. It has been suggested that taurine acts as a transmitter; Curtis and Watkins3 have evidence that among other amino-acids, taurine when applied iontophoretically to the vicinity of a neurone in the central nervous system exerts an inhibitory effect on the rate of firing and, furthermore, there is a structural resemblance between γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and taurine. There are also similarities in the distribution of both these amino-acids and in the localization of their synthesizing enzymes in different regions of the brain4. In addition, after density gradient centrifugation of rat brain homogenate, both cysteinesulphinate decarboxylase activity and taurine has been found to be enriched in the nerve ending fractions4. Glutamate and cysteinesulphinate decarboxylases are closely similar enzymes5 and their activities increase in parallel during development of rat brain4.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. Agrawal, H. C., Davies, J. M., and Himwich, W. A., J. Neurochem., 13, 607 (1966).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Gaitonde, M. K., in Handbook of Neurochemistry (edit. by Lajtha, A.), 3, 225, (Plenum Press, New York, 1970).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Curtis, D. R., and Watkins, J. C., Pharmacol Rev., 17, 347 (1965).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Agrawal, H. C., Davison, A. N., and Kaczmarek, L. K., Biochem. J., 122, 759 (1971).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Davison, A. N., Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 19, 66 (1956).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Srinivasan, V., Neal, M. J., and Mitchell, J. F., J. Neurochem., 16, 1235 (1969).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Peck, E. J., and Awapara, J., Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 141, 499 (1967).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Iversen, L. L., and Neal, M. J., J. Neurochem., 15, 1141 (1968).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

DAVISON, A., KACZMAREK, L. Taurine—a Possible Neurotransmitter ?. Nature 234, 107–108 (1971). https://doi.org/10.1038/234107a0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/234107a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing