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Moran, J; Pasantes Morales, H; SanchezOlea, R; Schousboe, A (1991)


NEUROSCI LETT 130(2):233-236
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In order to obtain information about the mechanism responsible for swelling associated taurine release in astrocytes, the kinetics of taurine uptake in cultured astrocytes from mouse cerebral cortex was studied under isosmotic and hyposmotic (50% osmolarity) conditions. It was found that the V(max) for the high affinity component of taurine uptake was unaffected by exposure of the astrocytes to hyposmotic conditions and that the K(m) value was somewhat increased. Contrary to V(max), the non-saturable component of the uptake was greatly increased (2.5-fold) after exposure of the cells to hyposmotic media leading to cell swelling. In addition to the kinetic characterization of taurine uptake the actual intracellular taurine content after incubation (15 min) in isosmotic or hyposmotic media with different taurine concentrations (0-100 mM) under Na+-free conditions was determined. At taurine concentrations < 30 mM corresponding to the intracellular content in cells not exposed to taurine, exposure to hyposmotic media led to a decrease in the intracellular taurine content. At higher external taurine concentrations (> 30 mM) the intracellular taurine contents were dramatically increased after exposure to hyposmotic conditions. The increase in intracellular taurine seen under hyposmotic conditions at 100 mM external taurine could be significantly reduced by 100-mu-M DIDS (4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonate). Altogether these results suggest that a diffusional process rather than the high affinity taurine carrier is involved in the swelling induced increase in astrocytic taurine influx and efflux.