Central administration of dipeptides, beta-alanyl-BCAAs, induces hyperactivity in chicks
Denbow, D Michael
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Background Carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) is a putative neurotransmitter and has a possible role in neuron-glia cell interactions. Previously, we reported that carnosine induced hyperactivity in chicks when intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) administered. In the present study, we focused on other β-alanyl dipeptides to determine if they have novel functions. Results In Experiment 1, i.c.v. injection of β-alanyl-L-leucine, but not β-alanyl-glycine, induced hyperactivity behavior as observed with carnosine. Both carnosine and β-alanyl-L-leucine stimulated corticosterone release. Thus, dipeptides of β-alanyl-branched chain amino acids were compared in Experiment 2. The i.c.v. injection of β-alanyl-L-isoleucine caused a similar response as β-alanyl-L-leucine, but β-alanyl-L-valine was somewhat less effective than the other two dipeptides. β-Alanyl-L-leucine strongly stimulated, and the other two dipeptides tended to stimulate, corticosterone release. Conclusion These results suggest that central β-alanyl-branched chain amino acid stimulates activity in chicks through the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. We named β-alanyl-L-leucine, β-alanyl-L-isoleucine and β-alanyl-L-valine as Excitin-1, Excitin-2 and Excitin-3, respectively.