D-Amino acids exert various physiological functions and are widely present in animals. However, they are absorbed to a lesser extent than L-amino acids. Little is known about D-arginine (D-Arg); however, its isomer L-Arg serves as a substrate for several metabolites and exhibits various functions including promotion of growth hormone secretion. Milk is the only nutrient source for infants; it plays an important role during their initial growth and brain development. No studies have evaluated the availability of D-Arg in the brain and milk in mammals. Here, we have studied the differential availability of orally administered D-and L-Arg in the brain and milk using ICR mice. Our results revealed that without D-Arg administration, D-Arg was undetectable in both plasma and brain samples. However, the plasma D-Arg was about twice the concentration of L-Arg post administration of the same. In the cerebral cortex and hypothalamus, L-Arg concentration remained almost constant for over period of 90 min after L-Arg treatment. Nevertheless, the L-Arg concentration decreased after D-Arg administration with time compared to the case post L-Arg administration. Contrastingly, D-Arg level sharply increased at both the brain regions with time after D-Arg treatment. Furthermore, L-Arg concentration in the milk hardly increased after L-Arg administration. Interestingly, oral administration of D-Arg showed efficient enrichment of D-Arg in milk, compared with L-Arg. Thus, our results imply that D-Arg may be available for brain development and infant nourishment through milk as an oral drug and/or nutrient supplement.
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