Gender-related differences in carnosine, anserine and lysine content of murine skeletal muscle
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The aminoacyl-imidazole dipeptides carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) and anserine (β-alanyl-1-methyl-histidine) are present in relatively high concentrations in excitable tissues, such as muscle and nervous tissue. In the present study we describe the existence of a marked sexual dimorphism of carnosine and anserine in skeletal muscles of CD1 mice. In adult animals the concentrations of anserine were higher than those of carnosine in all skeletal muscles studied, and the content of aminoacyl-imidazole dipeptides was remarkably higher in males than in females. Postnatal ontogenic studies and hormonal manipulations indicated that carnosine synthesis was up-regulated by testosterone whereas anserine synthesis increased with age. Regional variations in the concentrations of the dipeptides were observed in both sexes, skeletal muscles from hind legs having higher amounts of carnosine and anserine than those present in fore legs or in the pectoral region. The concentration of L-lysine in skeletal muscles also showed regional variations and a sexual dimorphic pattern with females having higher levels than males in all muscles studied. The results suggest that these differences may be related with the anabolic action of androgens on skeletal muscle.
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