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Taurine in the Mammalian Cerebellum: Demonstration by Autoradiography with [3H]taurine and Immunocytochemistry with Antibodies against the Taurine-Synthesizing Enzyme, Cysteine-Sulfinic Acid Decarboxylase
Victoria Chan-Palay, Chin-Tarng Lin, Sanford Palay, Miyuki Yamamoto and Jang-Yen Wu
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 79, No. 8, [Part 1: Biological Sciences] (Apr. 15, 1982), pp. 2695-2699
Published by: National Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/12205
Page Count: 5
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Taurine neurons and their dendrites and axons were visualized in the mammalian cerebellum by autoradiography, after in vivo injections of [3H]taurine directly into the cerebellar cortex or deep cerebellar nuclei, and by immunocytochemistry at the light- and electron-microscope levels with antibodies against cysteine-sulfinic acid decarboxylase (CSADCase; L-cysteine-sulfinate carboxylase, EC 126.96.36.199). Uptake and sequestration of [3H]taurine labeled numerous Purkinje cell somata, primary dendrites, and axons; many granule cell somata, dendrites, and parallel fibers; stellate, basket, and Golgi cells; the larger neurons in all deep cerebellar nuclei; the largest neurons in the lateral vestibular nucleus; and, more rarely, Purkinje cell axonal terminals in the neuropil. The label at all sites was diminished by preinjection into the cerebellum of hypotaurine, p-chloromercuriphenylsulfonic acid, or β -alanine, and was virtually eliminated by strychnine. Immunocytochemical labeling with polyclonal antibodies directed against CSADCase, the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of hypotaurine from cysteine sulfinic acid and taurine from cysteic acid, had a similar distribution. In electron micrographs, immunoreactivity within Purkinje cell somata and dendrites was localized to the Golgi apparatus, the inner plasma membrane, and condensed nonmembranous foci (120 nm in diameter) marked by clumps of peroxidase reaction product. Large Nissl bodies were usually not CSADCase immunoreactive. Numerous immunoreactive granule cells, dendrites, and parallel fibers were recognized. Pretreatment of the animals with colchicine increased the intensity of CSADCase immunoreactivity but did not change the number or distribution of labeled cells. These experiments indicate that taurine is synthesized and involved in a specific uptake process by cerebellar neurons. Neuroglial cells do not synthesize taurine but some neuroglia take up [3H]taurine. These findings call for a reexamination of the physiological function of taurine in the cerebellum. A hypothesis is proposed that taurine may be involved in the regulation of calcium, in dendritic spike generation, and in the inhibition of impulse propagation in major Purkinje cell dendrites.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America © 1982 National Academy of Sciences