Osmotic regulation of taurine transport via system beta and novel processes in mouse preimplantation conceptuses

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1994 May 11;1191(2):244-55. doi: 10.1016/0005-2736(94)90175-9.


Taurine was shown recently to increase the frequency at which 2-cell mouse conceptuses develop into blastocysts in vitro. For this reason and because taurine helps cells adapt to external stresses, we studied transport of this and related amino acids by preimplantation mouse conceptuses. The most conspicuous component of taurine transport in conceptuses at the 1-cell through blastocyst stages of development was both Na(+)- and Cl(-)-dependent. This Na(+)- and Cl(-)-dependent transport system interacted relatively strongly with beta- but not alpha-amino acids. By these criteria, transport system beta is responsible for Na(+)-dependent taurine transport in preimplantation mouse conceptuses. Moreover, detection of mRNA encoding the taurine transport protein (TAUT) in early conceptuses supports the theory that TAUT is a major component of system beta. Transport of taurine by system beta in 1-cell conceptuses was slower in hypotonic than in hypertonic media, whereas the reverse was true for system beta in blastocysts. In contrast, hypotonically stimulated Na(+)-independent taurine transport was, of course, more rapid in hypotonic than in hypertonic media in both 1-cell conceptuses and blastocysts. Transport via this hypotonically stimulated process also showed no sign of saturation by up to 10 mM taurine. Hypotonically stimulated taurine transport appeared transiently in 1-cell conceptuses under hypotonic conditions until they had recovered their initial volumes. Hence, we suggest that a decrease in taurine uptake via system beta and an increase in taurine exodus via the Na(+)-independent, nonsaturable transport process could contribute to the regulatory volume decrease in 1-cell conceptuses in hypotonic medium. Since taurine uptake by system beta in blastocysts is, however, higher in hypotonic than in hypertonic media, taurine uptake by system beta in blastocysts might intensify a tendency to increase cell volume in hypotonic medium. Such an increase in taurine uptake could further favor anabolic changes associated with cell swelling. In addition to contributing to regulation of cellular volume and perhaps metabolism, the hypotonically stimulated Na(+)-independent transport processes in early embryos have novel characteristics. Hypotonically stimulated Na(+)-independent taurine transport was inhibited by niflumate, N-ethylmaleimide and NaN3 but not by furosemide, iodoacetate, KCN, ouabain or alpha- or beta-amino acids. Furthermore, 4,4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonate inhibited this transport in 1-cell conceptuses but not in blastocysts. Hence, different hypotonically stimulated Na(+)-independent taurine transport processes appear to be present in 1-cell conceptuses vs. blastocysts. The functions of these and other instances of developmental regulation of expression of transport processes in preimplantation conceptuses remain largely to be elucidated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Blastocyst / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Sodium / pharmacology
  • Taurine / metabolism*
  • Tritium
  • beta-Alanine / metabolism*


  • Amino Acids
  • Tritium
  • beta-Alanine
  • Taurine
  • Sodium