Taurine and the Mitochondrion: Applications in the Pharmacotherapy of Human Diseases

Applications of Taurine in the Central Nervous System Disorders Linked with Mitochondrial Impairment

Author(s): Reza Heidari and M. Mehdi Ommati

Pp: 45-75 (31)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815124484123010005

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Taurine (TAU) reaches a high concentration in the central nervous system (CNS). The physiological role of TAU in the CNS is the subject of many investigations. It has been suggested that this amino acid could act as a membrane stabilizer, a modulator of calcium signaling, a trophic factor for neuronal development, and even be proposed as a neurotransmitter in the CNS. Besides, several investigations revealed the neuroprotective properties of TAU in various experimental models. Multiple mechanisms, including the inhibition of the excitotoxic response, the blockade of cytoplasmic calcium overload, regulation of oxidative stress, and the positive effects of TAU on mitochondrial parameters, have been proposed for the neuroprotective properties of this amino acid. Today, it is well-known that mitochondrial function and energy metabolism play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative disorders and xenobiotics-induced neurotoxicity. Hence, targeting mitochondria with safe and clinically applicable agents is a viable therapeutic option in various neurodegenerative disorders. In the current chapter, the effects of TAU on the CNS will be highlighted, focusing on the positive effects of this amino acid on mitochondrial parameters. The data could help the development of safe therapeutic agents against CNS complications.

Keywords: Brain injury, Energy crisis, Mitochondrial dysfunction, Neurodegenerative disease, Neurotoxicity, Oxidative stress.

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