Taurine as a micronutrient in development and regeneration of the central nervous system.
Taurine is an amino acid known to possess trophic properties in the central nervous system. The relevance of its presence in maternal milk is related to its role as an essential nutrient. Taurine deficiency around birth produces anatomical and functional modifications in the brain and in the retina. In addition, taurine favors neuron proliferation and survival, as well as neurite extension. The mechanisms by which taurine exerts its trophic role in the regenerating retina are related to increases in calcium fluxes, to modifications of protein phosphorylation, and to influence of the target organ. Moreover, taurine-zinc interaction might be crucial in the development of structures such as the hippocampal formation. Thus, taurine can be considered as one of the determinant nutritional molecules during development and regeneration of the central nervous system.