A natural polysaccharide, chitosan (poly-N-acetyl glucosaminoglycan), which is a nontoxic and bioabsorbable polymer, has been shown to have hemostatic and antibacterial effects. An amino acid, taurine, is considered to be beneficial for regulating the inflammation process. The purpose of this study was to investigate the synergistic effects of taurine and chitosan in the experimental defects at the vestibular bone of maxillary canine teeth in six dogs. Chitosan films were prepared as delivery system with or without taurine and placed in the randomly chosen defects. Biopsies were performed on the postoperative seventh day and routine histological procedures were performed for light and electron microscopic evaluations. For each group, 30 different microscopic areas were examined and the numbers of macrophages and neutrophils in these areas were counted. The mean numbers of both macrophages and neutrophils were found statistically different between the chitosan film incorporated with taurine and free chitosan groups (p < 0.0001 p > 0.05), In addition to the increase in cell counts in both groups, the cytological alterations were more obvious in the chitosan film group incorporated with taurine. Accordingly, taurine appears to enhance the acceleration effect of chitosan on wound healing at early periods. This effect could be considered beneficial in tissue repair in destructive diseases like periodontitis. (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.