Taurine regulates insulin release from pancreatic beta cell lines
Pancreatic b-cells release insulin via an electrogenic response triggered by an increase in plasma glucose concentrations. The critical plasma glucose concentration has been determined to be ~3 mM, at which time both insulin and GABA are released from pancreatic b-cells. Taurine, a b-sulfonic acid, may be transported into cells to balance osmotic pressure. The taurine transporter (TauT) has been described in pancreatic tissue, but the function of taurine in insulin release has not been established. Uptake of taurine by pancreatic b-cells may alter membrane potential and have an effect on ion currents. If taurine uptake does alter b-cell current, it might have an effect on exocytosis of cytoplasmic vesicle. We wished to test the effect of taurine on regulating release of insulin from the pancreatic b-cell.