Taurine: possible role in osmotic regulation of mammalian heart

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Science  18 Dec 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4527, pp. 1373-1374
DOI: 10.1126/science.7313699


It is well established that taurine plays an important role in the maintenance of intracellular osmolal concentration in marine invertebrates, teleosts, and amphibians. In fresh water, concentrations of taurine in body tissues decrease; in salt water, they increase. In this study with mice we found that during adaptation of these mammals to chronic hypernatremia, the taurine content of the heart increased; concentrations of other amino acids were unchanged or were decreased. Welty and his associated have shown that acute hyponatremia lowered the taurine concentration of rat heart. In concert, these data suggest that taurine also may serve as an osmotic agent in mammalian heart.