The metabolic syndrome is a risk factor that increases the risk for development of renal and vascular complications. This study addresses the effects of chronic administration of the endogenous dipeptide carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine, L-CAR) and of its enantiomer (β-alanyl-D-histidine, D-CAR) on hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, advanced glycation end products, advanced lipoxidation end products formation and development of nephropathy in the non-diabetic, Zucker obese rat. The Zucker rats received a daily dose of L-CAR or D-CAR (30 mg/kg in drinking water) for 24 weeks. Systolic blood pressure was recorded monthly. At the end of the treatment, plasma levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, glucose, insulin, creatinine and urinary levels of total protein, albumin and creatinine were measured. Several indices of oxidative/carbonyl stress were also measured in plasma, urine and renal tissue. We found that both L- and D-CAR greatly reduced obese-related diseases in obese Zucker rat, by significantly restraining the development of dyslipidaemia, hypertension and renal injury, as demonstrated by both urinary parameters and electron microscopy examinations of renal tissue. Because the protective effect elicited by L- and D-CAR was almost superimposable, we conclude that the pharmacological action of L-CAR is not due to a pro-histaminic effect (D-CAR is not a precursor of histidine, since it is stable to peptidic hydrolysis), and prompted us to propose that some of the biological effects can be mediated by a direct carbonyl quenching mechanism.
© 2011 The Authors Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine © 2011 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.