β-Alanine does not act through branched-chain amino acid catabolism in carp, a species with low muscular carnosine storage
This study was executed to investigate the effect of dietary β-alanine (BA) on amino acid (AA) metabolism and voluntary feed intake in carp (Cyprinus carpio) at mildly elevated temperature to exert AA catabolism. Twenty-four fish in 12 aquaria were randomly assigned to either a control diet or the same diet with 500 mg BA/kg. A 14-day period at an ideal temperature (23 °C) was followed by 15 days at chronic mildly elevated temperature (27 °C). After the 15 days, all fish were euthanised for muscle analysis on histidine-containing dipeptides (HCD), whole blood on free AA and carnitine esters. The carnosine and anserine analysis indicated that all analyses were below the detection limit of 5 µmol/L, confirming that carp belongs to a species that does not store HCD. The increases in free AA concentrations due to BA supplementation failed to reach the level of significance. The effects of dietary BA on selected whole blood carnitine esters and their ratios were also not significant. The supplementation of BA tended to increase body weight gain (P = 0.081) and feed intake (P = 0.092). The lack of differences in the selected nutrient metabolites in combination with tendencies of improved growth performance warrants further investigation to unravel the mechanism of BA affecting feed intake. This first trial on the effect of BA supplementation on AA catabolism showed that its metabolic effect in carp at chronic mildly elevated temperature was very limited. Further studies need to evaluate which conditions are able to exert an effect of BA on AA metabolism.
KeywordsCarp Elevated temperature β-Alanine Amino acids Acylcarnitine
Branched-chain amino acids
Feed conversion ratio
High-performance liquid chromatography
Standard error of mean
Sum of 3-hydroxybutyryl fatty acids
Sum of 3-hydroxybutyryl respective fatty acids
The authors acknowledge Herman De Rycke for proximate analysis of the control diet.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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