Myocardial taurine content was halved in rats maintained for 3 weeks on tap water containing either 1% guanidinoethylsulfonate (GES) or 3% β-alanine. The decrease in taurine content did not affect myocardial contraction; however, it significantly altered myocardial metabolism. The major effect of the treatment was a significant stimulation in the rate of glycolysis and lactate production. The rise in glycolytic flux was associated with activation of phosphofructokinase, presumably caused by a decrease in tissue citrate levels. GES-treated hearts also contained slightly lower creatine phosphate content, but since this effect was not observed in the β-alanine-treated hearts, it appeared to be independent of taurine depletion. The consequences of these metabolic changes are discussed.
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