Taurine depletion in adolescent mice and implications for ethanol withdrawal-induced anxiety.
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Helfand, Rebecca S.
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Adolescents exhibit few negative neurobehavioral effects of ethanol withdrawal and have higher levels of taurine, an inhibitory amino acid, than adults. Given taurine’s neuroprotective role and abundance during adolescence, it is possible that taurine is acting to attenuate adolescents’ negative response to ethanol withdrawal. The current study examined the effects of 7 days of taurine depletion with GES on withdrawal-induced anxiety as measured on the elevated plus maze (EPM) and plasma corticosterone levels. Plasma corticosterone levels were significantly higher in the GES and ethanol exposed group than any of the other groups. The results indicate that while taurine depletion did not decrease open arm time as expected, the combination of exposure to GES and ethanol significantly increased plasma corticosterone levels. The major finding of this study is that the depletion of taurine during adolescence affected biochemical but not behavioral measures of anxiety further implicating taurine’s protective role during ethanol withdrawal.