Taurine activates glycine and γ-aminobutyric acid A receptors in rat substantia gelatinosa neurons

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Taurine has been suggested to modulate nociceptive information at the spinal cord level. In this study, the pharmacological properties of taurine were investigated in adult rat substantia gelatinosa (SG) neurons using whole-cell patch-clamp method. We found that taurine seemed to have higher efficacy than glycine on glycine receptors in SG neurons. An increase in chloride conductance was responsible for taurine-induced currents. Taurine at 0.3 mM activated glycine receptors, whereas at 3 mM activated both glycine and γ-aminobutyric acid A receptors. The currents activated by coapplication of taurine and glycine are cross inhibitive. Altogether these results show that taurine might represent another important neurotransmitter or modulator in SG neurons, which may be involved in antinociception.

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