Creatine supplementation augments skeletal muscle carnosine content in senescence-accelerated mice (SAMP8)

Rejuvenation Res. 2008 Jun;11(3):641-7. doi: 10.1089/rej.2008.0699.


The histidine-containing dipeptides (HCD) carnosine and anserine are found in high concentrations in mammalian skeletal muscle. Given its versatile biologic properties, such as antioxidative, antiglycation, and pH buffering capacity, carnosine has been implicated as a protective factor in the aging process. The present study aimed to systematically explore age-related changes in skeletal muscles HCD content in a murine model of accelerated aging. Additionally, we investigated the effect of lifelong creatine supplementation on muscle HCD content and contractile fatiguability. Male senescence-accelerated mice (SAMP8) were fed control or creatine-supplemented (2% of food intake) diet from the age of 10 to 60 weeks. At week 10, 25, and 60, tibialis anterior muscles were dissected and analysed for HCD and taurine content by HPLC. Soleus and EDL muscles were tested for in vitro contractile fatigue and recovery. From 10 to 60 weeks of age, muscular carnosine (-45%), taurine (-24%), and total creatine (-42%) concentrations gradually and significantly decreased. At 25 but not at 60 weeks, oral creatine supplementation significantly increased carnosine (+88%) and anserine (+40%) content compared to age-matched control-fed animals. Taurine and total creatine content were not affected by creatine supplementation at any age. Creatine-treated mice showed attenuated muscle fatigue (soleus) and enhanced force recovery (m. extensor digitorum longus [EDL]) compared to controls at 25 weeks, but not at 60 weeks. From the present study, we can conclude that skeletal muscle tissue exhibits a significant decline in HCD content at old age. Oral creatine supplementation is able to transiently but potently increase muscle carnosine and anserine content, which coincides with improved resistance to contractile fatigue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Anserine / analysis
  • Carnosine / analysis*
  • Creatinine / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry*
  • Taurine / analysis
  • beta-Alanine / metabolism


  • beta-Alanine
  • Taurine
  • Carnosine
  • Creatinine
  • Anserine