1984 Volume 30 Issue 6 Pages 541-551
Carnosine can support the growth of rats fed on a histidinefree diet. Rats fed on the histidine-free diet lost weight rapidly for a few days, then remained at a relatively constant weight for 2 weeks at least. However, rats fed on a 0.90% carnosine diet, which contains histidine equimolar to that in a 20% casein diet, increased their weight at the same rate as rats fed on a 20% amino acid diet simulated with casein. On the other hand, the growth of rats fed on a 5% carnosine diet was about 70 compared with that of control rats fed on the 20% amino acid diet for a 2week experimental period.
Carnosinase activity was not significantly affected in the kidney of rats fed on the histidine-free or the 5% carnosine diet. On the other hand, carnosinase activity in the small intestine of rats fed on the histidine-free diet was significantly increased. Histidine content of serum of rats fed on the histidine-free diet decreased to 1/3 of that of control rats, while that of rats fed on the 5 % carnosine diet increased to about 14 times. Carnosine content of rat gastrocnemius muscle increased with carnosine content of diets, followed by an increase of histidine in the muscle. However, carnosinase activity of gastrocnemius muscle was not affected by carnosine in diets.