Taurine transport in human placental microvillous membrane vesicles

Judith U. Hibbard*, Peter F. Whitington, Atef H. Moawad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Taurine, a βamino acid, is actively transported across the in vitro perfused human placenta. To further characterize the transport mechanism microvillous membrane vesicles (MVV) were prepared from the apical brush border of human term placentae by Mg2 +-aggregation and differential centrifuga-tion. Vesicular uptake of taurine was measured by rapid filtration technique at 25oC using [U-14C] taurine. All data are expressed as mean ± SEM. The course of uptake over time in the presence of an inward Na+ gradient (n = 4) revealed an "overshoot" phenomena. When Na+ was replaced with K+ in the incubation medium (n = 4), the overshoot was abolished and the uptake rate was sharply reduced. Uptake velocities at taurine concentrations from 1 to 35 μM were studied (n = 6) showing that taurine uptake was saturable and the Km was 12.1 μM and the Vmax was 36.2 pmol/mg protein/min. Hypotaurine, βalanine, and taurine all inhibited the uptake of taurine by MVV (n = 4). Taurine is actively transported into MVV from human term placentae by a Na+-dependent carrier that is inhibited by βamino acids, and therefore conforms to the βcarrier described in other tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993


  • Placental uptake
  • βAmino acid
  • βCarrier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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