Recent studies in heart cells have shown taurine to induce a sustained increase of both intracellular Ca2+<.math> and Na
Using Fura-2 Ca2+ imaging and Fluo-3 Ca2+confocal microscopy techniques, taurine (20 mM) as expected, induced a sustained increase in [Ca]i at both the cytosolic and the nuclear levels. Preexposure to 500 μM of the blocker of the taurine-Na+ cotransporter, β-alanine, prevented the amino acid-induced increase of total [Ca]i. On the other hand, application of β-alanine did not reverse the action of taurine on total [Ca]i. However, low concentrations of the Na+-Ca2+ exchanger blocker, CBDMB, reversed the taurine-induced sustained increase of cytosolic and nuclear free calcium (in presence or absence of β-alanine). Thus, the effect of taurine on [Ca]i in heart cells appears to be due to Na+ entry through the taurine-Na+ cotransporter which in turn favours transarcolemmal Ca2+ influx through the Na+-Ca2+ exchanger.