Taurine occurs at high concentrations in the forebrain and its distribution varies with (patho)physiological conditions; however, its role in neural function is poorly understood. We have now characterized its effects on corticostriatal synaptic transmission. Bath application of taurine (10 mm) to slices obtained from mice and rats exerted a biphasic action on corticostriatal field potentials. The fast and reversible inhibition by taurine was accompanied by a depolarization and conductance increase in medium spiny neurons and was sensitive to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A and glycine receptor (GlyR) antagonists. A long-lasting enhancement (LLETAU) of field potentials was recorded after taurine withdrawal. The LLETAU was not prevented by N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)- or by GABAA receptor-antagonists, but was sensitive to the GlyR-antagonist strychnine and blocked by the competitive taurine uptake inhibitor guanidinoethylsulphonate (GES, 1 mm). GES at 10 mm evoked an enhancement of field potentials similar to LLETAU. LLETAU depended on protein kinase C activation as it was blocked by chelerythrine, but was unaffected by trifluoperazine, and thus independent of calmodulin. LLETAU was significantly smaller in juvenile than in mature rodents. Activation of GlyRs and the specific taurine transporter by taurine evoke a long-lasting enhancement of corticostriatal transmission.