Regulation of taurine transport at the blood-brain barrier by tumor necrosis factor-α, taurine and hypertonicity

Young Sook Kang, Sumio Ohtsuki, Hitomi Takanaga, Masatoshi Tomi, Ken ichi Hosoya, Tetsuya Terasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Taurine is the abundant sulfur-containing β-amino acid in brain where it exerts a neuroprotective effect. Although it is known that the blood-brain barrier (BBB) mediates taurine transport, the regulation of taurine transport have not been clarified yet. A conditionally immortalized rat brain capillary endothelial cells (TR-BBB13), an in vitro model of the BBB, exhibited [3H]taurine uptake, which was dependent on both Na+ and Cl-, and inhibited by β-alanine. Taurine transporter (TAUT) mRNA was detected in TR-BBB13 cells, and TAUT protein was also expressed at 70 kDa. TR-BBB13 cells exposed to 20 ng/mL TNF-α and under hypertonic conditions showed a 1.7-fold and 3.2-fold increase in [3H]taurine uptake, respectively. In contrast, lipopolysaccharide and diethyl maleate did not significantly affect taurine uptake. The taurine uptake was reduced by pre-treatment with excess taurine (50 mM). The mRNA level of the TAUT in TNF-α and following hypertonic treatment was greater than that in control cells, whereas that under excess taurine conditions was lower than in controls. Therefore, taurine transport activity at the BBB appears to be regulated at the transcriptional level by cell damage, osmolality and taurine in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1188-1195
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Immortalized brain capillary endothelial cell line
  • MRNA expression
  • Osmoregulation
  • Taurine transport
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Regulation of taurine transport at the blood-brain barrier by tumor necrosis factor-α, taurine and hypertonicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this