Sericin is a protein component of the silkworm cocoon, and contains a high proportion of L-serine, but it has been mostly disposed of as an industrial waste. However, recent studies have revealed its unique biological functionalities beneficial to human health. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of acute oral intake of sericin on amino acid and neurotransmitter metabolism in the mouse brain. Acute administration of chemically modified sericin (0.26 g/30 g body weight) increased L-serine and L-tyrosine levels in the serum and brain, although the L-tyrosine content in the sericin was less than 3% (w/w). In addition, sericin administration led to a significant facilitation of noradrenergic turnover via enhancement of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylethyleneglycol, a principal metabolite of noradrenaline, in several of the brain regions examined. These present findings suggest that oral intake of sericin efficiently delivers L-serine and L-tyrosine to the brain, thus stimulating noradrenergic activity in the brain. Abbreviations: DA: dopamine; 5-HIAA: 5-hydroxyindoleicetic acid; 5-HT: 5-hydroxytryptamine; HVA: homovanillic acid; MHPG: 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylethyleneglycol; 3-MT: 3-methoxytyramine; NA: noradrenaline; NM: normetanephrine; Veh: vehicle.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology
- Organic Chemistry