Aims L-Aspartate (L-Asp) and D-aspartate (D-Asp) are physiologically important amino acids in mammals and birds. However, the functions of these amino acids have not yet been fully understood. In this study, we therefore examined the effects of L-Asp and D-Asp in terms of regulating body temperature, plasma metabolites and catecholamines in chicks. Main methods Chicks were first orally administered with different doses (0, 3.75, 7.5 and 15 mmol/kg body weight) of L- or D-Asp to monitor the effects of these amino acids on rectal temperature during 120 min of the experimental period. Key findings Oral administration of D-Asp, but not of L-Asp, linearly decreased the rectal temperature in chicks. Importantly, orally administered D-Asp led to a significant reduction in body temperature in chicks even under high ambient temperature (HT) conditions. However, centrally administered D-Asp did not significantly influence the body temperature in chicks. As for plasma metabolites and catecholamines, orally administered D-Asp led to decreased triacylglycerol and uric acid concentrations and increased glucose and chlorine concentrations but did not alter plasma catecholamines. Significance These results suggest that oral administration of D-Asp may play a potent role in reducing body temperature under both normal and HT conditions. The alteration of plasma metabolites further indicates that D-Asp may contribute to the regulation of metabolic activity in chicks.
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