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Abstract Details

Taurine and Astrocytes: A Homeostatic and Neuroprotective Relationship
General Neurology
P9 - Poster Session 9 (5:30 PM-6:30 PM)

Taurine is considered the most abundant free amino acid present in the brain, with multiple functions including antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects, gene transcription regulation and maintenance of cellular energy processes, among others. Despite previous research regarding taurine’s effect in different tissues, its role in the nervous system, particularly the functional relationship with astrocytes, remains to be further elucidated. Understanding taurine’s effect in astrocytes can contribute to a better insight of its physiological effects, which could potentially be used to ameliorate the course of several nervous system pathologies.

This review provides an overview of the significant relationship between taurine and astrocytes, as well as its homeostatic and neuroprotective role in the nervous system.

We conducted a literature review concerning the relationship between taurine and astrocytes and its neuroprotective effects in the nervous system. We searched in different databases using search criteria such as “taurine AND neuroprotection“, “taurine AND glia“, “taurine AND brain“, “taurine AND astrocyte“, among others. There was no chosen range for year of publication. 

There is a metabolic coupling between astrocytes and neurons in which astrocytes provide neurons with hypotaurine as a substrate for taurine production. Taurinergic gliotransmission can enhance post-synaptic neuronal inhibition mediated by GABA-AR and GlyR, thus protecting the brain towards glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Furthermore, taurine prevents mitochondrial stress, and activation of apoptotic pathways by inhibiting calcium influx from VGCC.


There is compelling evidence of taurine’s neuroprotective and homeostatic effects in the CNS. The metabolic coupling for taurine synthesis and degradation between astrocytes and neurons, evidence neuronal dependence on astrocytes for the adequate functioning of the mentioned effects in the brain. Therefore, the astrocyte’s role in taurine-induced neuroprotective functions should be considered as a promising therapeutic target in the management of several neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases in the near future. 
Sofia Ramirez Guerrero (Universidad Del Rosario)
Ms. Ramirez Guerrero has nothing to disclose.
Santiago Guardo-Maya (Universidad del Rosario) Mr. Guardo-Maya has received personal compensation in the range of $10,000-$49,999 for serving as a Pre-doctoral fellow with NIH.
Germán J. Medina-Rincón (Universidad del Rosario) Mr. Medina-Rincón has nothing to disclose.
Ricardo Julian Cabezas, PhD (Universidad Antonio Nariño) Dr. Cabezas has nothing to disclose.
Rodrigo Gonzalez, MD,PhD (Universidad del Rosario) The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Gonzalez has received research support from Minciencias. Dr. Gonzalez has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care. Dr. Gonzalez has received personal compensation in the range of $0-$499 for serving as a Speaker with Mitotherapies.