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Reduced muscle carnosine content in type 2, but not in type 1 diabetic patients

Abstract

Carnosine is present in high concentrations in skeletal muscle where it contributes to acid buffering and functions also as a natural protector against oxidative and carbonyl stress. Animal studies have shown an anti-diabetic effect of carnosine supplementation. High carnosinase activity, the carnosine degrading enzyme in serum, is a risk factor for diabetic complications in humans. The aim of the present study was to compare the muscle carnosine concentration in diabetic subjects to the level in non-diabetics. Type 1 and 2 diabetic patients and matched healthy controls (total n = 58) were included in the study. Muscle carnosine content was evaluated by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (3 Tesla) in soleus and gastrocnemius. Significantly lower carnosine content (−45%) in gastrocnemius muscle, but not in soleus, was shown in type 2 diabetic patients compared with controls. No differences were observed in type 1 diabetic patients. Type II diabetic patients display a reduced muscular carnosine content. A reduction in muscle carnosine concentration may be partially associated with defective mechanisms against oxidative, glycative and carbonyl stress in muscle.

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Abbreviations

CN-1:

Carnosinase-1

CNDP-1:

Carnosine dipeptidase-1 gene

HNE:

4-Hydroxynonenal

MRS:

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy

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Acknowledgments

This study was financially supported by grants from the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO 1.5.149.08 and G.0046.09) and from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Grant numbers 2005/56464-9 and 2010/11221-0). The contribution of Johannes Ruige, Andries Pottier, Bert Celie, Melodie Arts, Koen De Meulenaer, Pieter Metsu, Vitor Painelli, and Rebeca Lugaresi is greatly acknowledged.

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The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest associated with this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Bruno Gualano.

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Gualano, B., Everaert, I., Stegen, S. et al. Reduced muscle carnosine content in type 2, but not in type 1 diabetic patients. Amino Acids 43, 21–24 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-011-1165-y

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Keywords

  • Skeletal muscle
  • Glycation
  • AGEs
  • Oxidative stress
  • Carbonyl stress
  • Carnosine
  • Beta-alanine
  • Diabetic complications
  • MRS