Comparison of serum and plasma taurine values in Bengal tigers with values in taurine-sufficient and -deficient domestic cats

J. Phillip Pickett From the Department of Pediatrics (Chesney, Lippincott), and School of Veterinary Medicine (Pickett, Beehler, Moore), University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706; Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The University of Tennessee LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, 848 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 (Chesney); The Milwaukee Zoological Institute, Milwaukee, WI (Beehler); Department of Developmental Biochemistry, The Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, NY (Sturman); All Animal Eye Clinic, Cincinnati, Ohio (Ketring); and College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 (Moore).

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Russell W. Chesney From the Department of Pediatrics (Chesney, Lippincott), and School of Veterinary Medicine (Pickett, Beehler, Moore), University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706; Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The University of Tennessee LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, 848 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 (Chesney); The Milwaukee Zoological Institute, Milwaukee, WI (Beehler); Department of Developmental Biochemistry, The Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, NY (Sturman); All Animal Eye Clinic, Cincinnati, Ohio (Ketring); and College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 (Moore).

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Bruce Beehler From the Department of Pediatrics (Chesney, Lippincott), and School of Veterinary Medicine (Pickett, Beehler, Moore), University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706; Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The University of Tennessee LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, 848 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 (Chesney); The Milwaukee Zoological Institute, Milwaukee, WI (Beehler); Department of Developmental Biochemistry, The Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, NY (Sturman); All Animal Eye Clinic, Cincinnati, Ohio (Ketring); and College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 (Moore).

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Cecil P. Moore From the Department of Pediatrics (Chesney, Lippincott), and School of Veterinary Medicine (Pickett, Beehler, Moore), University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706; Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The University of Tennessee LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, 848 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 (Chesney); The Milwaukee Zoological Institute, Milwaukee, WI (Beehler); Department of Developmental Biochemistry, The Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, NY (Sturman); All Animal Eye Clinic, Cincinnati, Ohio (Ketring); and College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 (Moore).

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Shirley Lippincott From the Department of Pediatrics (Chesney, Lippincott), and School of Veterinary Medicine (Pickett, Beehler, Moore), University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706; Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The University of Tennessee LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, 848 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 (Chesney); The Milwaukee Zoological Institute, Milwaukee, WI (Beehler); Department of Developmental Biochemistry, The Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, NY (Sturman); All Animal Eye Clinic, Cincinnati, Ohio (Ketring); and College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 (Moore).

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John Sturman From the Department of Pediatrics (Chesney, Lippincott), and School of Veterinary Medicine (Pickett, Beehler, Moore), University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706; Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The University of Tennessee LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, 848 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 (Chesney); The Milwaukee Zoological Institute, Milwaukee, WI (Beehler); Department of Developmental Biochemistry, The Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, NY (Sturman); All Animal Eye Clinic, Cincinnati, Ohio (Ketring); and College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 (Moore).

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Kerry L. Ketring From the Department of Pediatrics (Chesney, Lippincott), and School of Veterinary Medicine (Pickett, Beehler, Moore), University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706; Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The University of Tennessee LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, 848 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 (Chesney); The Milwaukee Zoological Institute, Milwaukee, WI (Beehler); Department of Developmental Biochemistry, The Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, NY (Sturman); All Animal Eye Clinic, Cincinnati, Ohio (Ketring); and College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 (Moore).

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Summary

A white Bengal tiger was determined to have a central retinal lesion and a central visual defect. Because of the known association between feline central retinal degeneration (crd) and taurine deficiency in domestic cats, plasma concentrations of taurine were measured in this tiger. Serum concentrations of taurine, methionine, and cystine also were measured in white Bengal tigers, orange Bengal tigers, taurine-sufficient domestic cats, and taurine-deprived and tissue-taurine-depleted visually impaired cats with crd. Hepatic and brain enzymes responsible for taurine synthesis were identified in tissue specimens from an orange Bengal tiger. Serum taurine concentrations were lower in white vs orange tigers, but were not as low as those in cats with crd. Thus, we concluded that taurine depletion did not account for the central retinal lesion in the white Bengal tiger.

Summary

A white Bengal tiger was determined to have a central retinal lesion and a central visual defect. Because of the known association between feline central retinal degeneration (crd) and taurine deficiency in domestic cats, plasma concentrations of taurine were measured in this tiger. Serum concentrations of taurine, methionine, and cystine also were measured in white Bengal tigers, orange Bengal tigers, taurine-sufficient domestic cats, and taurine-deprived and tissue-taurine-depleted visually impaired cats with crd. Hepatic and brain enzymes responsible for taurine synthesis were identified in tissue specimens from an orange Bengal tiger. Serum taurine concentrations were lower in white vs orange tigers, but were not as low as those in cats with crd. Thus, we concluded that taurine depletion did not account for the central retinal lesion in the white Bengal tiger.

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