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The effect of dietary supplementation with cysteic acid on the plasma taurine concentration of cats maintained on a taurine-restricted diet



The effect of dietary supplementation with cysteic acid on the plasma taurine concentration of cats maintained on a taurine-restricted diet



Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 315: 23-32



The biochemical impairment in the taurine anabolic pathway of the cat has not yet been fully elucidated; however, a number of key enzymes are known to have reduced activity in the cat compared to the rat. There are a series of possible routes resulting in the formation of taurine, one of which is the decarboxylation of cysteic acid. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cysteic acid, as a precursor, on the circulating concentration of taurine. A group of twelve adult cats was fed a basal, canned diet containing 0.22 g taurine/kg fresh weight for a period of eighty-four days. The diet was supplemented with 2.0 g/kg fresh weight L-cysteic acid on day fifteen through fifty six and plasma taurine concentration was measured every two weeks throughout the study. The results showed that when the dietary intake of taurine was inadequate to maintain the plasma concentration above 40 mumol/L, the addition of L-cysteic acid to the diet gave rise to an increase in plasma taurine concentration in some cats. Eight of the twelve cats showed a significant rise in plasma taurine after dietary supplementation for six weeks (52.0 +/- 22.3 vs 212.4 +/- 97.9 mumol/L, p less than 0.01) and a subsequent decrease in plasma levels when the cysteic acid was withdrawn (65.6 +/- 37.1 mumol/L). The other four cats showed no significant rise in plasma taurine after six weeks supplementation (13.5 +/- 4.2 vs 35.5 +/- 19.4 mumol/L, ns). However, withdrawal of the cysteic acid resulted in a subsequent decrease in circulating levels of taurine (11.8 +/- 1.5 mumol/L, ns). These data indicate that the addition of cysteic acid to a taurine-restricted, canned diet will, in some cats, result in the biosynthesis of taurine. The plasma taurine concentration of the remaining cats, although not apparently increasing significantly, was maintained at a slightly higher constant level until the cysteic acid was withdrawn. These results suggest that cats are able to synthesise taurine via an alternative pathway utilising L-cysteic acid as a precursor, although the efficiency of this process differs considerably among individual animals.

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Accession: 017353554

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PMID: 1509944



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