Author(s): Lima L, Obregn F, Matus P
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Abstract The amino acid taurine plays an important trophic role during development and regeneration of the central nervous system. Other amino acid systems, such as those for glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), are modified during the same physiological and pathological processes. After crushing the optic nerve, goldfish retinal explants were plated in the absence and in the presence of different amino acids and amino acid receptor agonists. The length and the density of the neurites were measured at 5 days in culture. Taurine increased the length and the density of neurites. Glutamate and glycine increased them at low concentration, but were inhibitors at higher concentration. The combination of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and glycine produced a greater inhibitory effect than NMDA alone. NMDA or alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) added simultaneously with taurine impaired the stimulatory effect of the latter. GABA stimulated the emission of neurites in a concentration dependent manner. Hypotaurine also elevated the length of neurites, but cysteinsesulfinic acid did not produce a significant effect. The concentrations of taurine, glutamate and GABA were determined by HPLC with fluorescent detection in the retina of goldfish at various days post-crushing the optic nerve. The levels of taurine were significantly increased at 48h after the crush, and were elevated up to 20 days. Glutamate level decreased after the lesion of the optic nerve and was still low at 20 days. GABA concentration was not significantly different from the control. The interaction of these amino acids during the regenerative period, especially the balance between taurine and glutamate, may be a determinant in restoring vision after the crush.
This article was published in Amino Acids
and referenced in Journal of Membrane Science & Technology