Carnosine, and its derivative anserine, are known to function as anti-oxidants and putative neurotransmitters. They are especially rich in the breast muscle (Musculus pectoralis superficialis, MPS) of chickens. To clarify whether the concentrations of carnosine and anserine are altered by dietary management, the effect of oral administration of their constituent, β-alanine (β-Ala), was determined in the MPS and brains of chickens. Birds were orally administered β-Ala (22 mmol/kg) twice a day for five consecutive days (from 2 to 6 days old). In the MPS, carnosine was increased by β-Ala, whereas anserine and taurine were decreased. The concentrations of other free amino acids in the MPS were also modified by β-Ala. In the brain, the oral administration of β-Ala increased anserine and carnosine and decreased taurine, but caused no changes to other free amino acid concentrations. These results suggest that orally administered β-Ala increases carnosine concentrations in both the MPS and brains of chickens. However, the effects of β-Ala on other concentrations differ depending on the tissues.
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