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Mechanisms Underlying Taurine Protection Against Glutamate-Induced Neurotoxicity

  • Hai-Bo Ye (a1), Hai-Bo Shi (a1) and Shan-Kai Yin (a1)


Taurine appears to exert potent protections against glutamate (Glu)-induced injury to neurons, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. The possibly protected targets consist of the plasma membrane and the mitochondrial as well as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes. Protection may be provided through a variety of effects, including the prevention of membrane depolarization, neuronal excitotoxicity and mitochondrial energy failure, increases in intracellular free calcium ([Ca2+]i), activation of calpain, and reduction of Bcl-2 levels. These activities are likely to be linked spatially and temporally in the neuroprotective functions of taurine. In addition, events that occur downstream of Glu stimulation, including altered enzymatic activities, apoptotic pathways, and necrosis triggered by the increased [Ca2+]i, can be inhibited by taurine. This review discusses the possible molecular mechanisms of taurine against Glu-induced neuronal injury, providing a better understanding of the protective processes, which might be helpful in the development of novel interventional strategies.

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Corresponding author

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital of Shanghai Jiaotong University, 600 yishan Road, Shanghai 200233, China. email:


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