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A Huth, MW Seeliger, B Heller-Stilb, C van Roeyen, K Rascher, HG Hartwig, U Warskulat, D Häussinger; Disruption of the Taurine Transporter Gene (taut) Leads to Retinal Degeneration in Mice . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):2711.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Taurine is involved in cell volume homeostasis, antioxidant defense, protein stabilization and stress responses. High levels of intracellular taurine are maintained by a Na+-dependent taurine transporter (TAUT) in the plasma membrane. Here, we studied the effects of a disrupted gene coding for the taurine transporter on the retina in taut-/- mice. Methods: TAUT knockout mice were generated by targeted disruption. Retinal morphology was assessed at different ages by standard histological methods and TUNEL staining. Ganzfeld ERGs were obtained from normal and taut-/- mice using single flash and flicker stimuli under both scotopic and photopic conditions. Results: Taut -/- mice show markedly decreased taurine levels in a variety of tissues, reduced fertility and loss of vision due to severe retinal degeneration, which involves apoptosis. ERG responses were reduced from early on, but recordable upto about 4 weeks postnatally. Conclusion: The results identify the taurine transporter as an important factor for the maintenance of the morphological and functional integrity of the retina.
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