Impairment of electron transfer chain induced by acute carnosine administration in skeletal muscle of young rats

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:632986. doi: 10.1155/2014/632986. Epub 2014 May 4.

Abstract

Serum carnosinase deficiency is an inherited disorder that leads to an accumulation of carnosine in the brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, skeletal muscle, and other tissues of affected patients. Considering that high levels of carnosine are associated with neurological dysfunction and that the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in serum carnosinase deficiency remain poorly understood, we investigated the in vivo effects of carnosine on bioenergetics parameters, namely, respiratory chain complexes (I-III, II, and II-III), malate dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase, and creatine kinase activities and the expression of mitochondrial-specific transcription factors (NRF-1, PGC-1α , and TFAM) in skeletal muscle of young Wistar rats. We observed a significant decrease of complexes I-III and II activities in animals receiving carnosine acutely, as compared to control group. However, no significant alterations in respiratory chain complexes, citric acid cycle enzymes, and creatine kinase activities were found between rats receiving carnosine chronically and control group animals. As compared to control group, mRNA levels of NRF-1, PGC-1α , and TFAM were unchanged. The present findings indicate that electron transfer through the respiratory chain is impaired in skeletal muscle of rats receiving carnosine acutely. In case these findings are confirmed by further studies and ATP depletion is also observed, impairment of bioenergetics could be considered a putative mechanism responsible for the muscle damage observed in serum carnosinase-deficient patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carnosine / toxicity*
  • Electron Transport Chain Complex Proteins / metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar

Substances

  • Electron Transport Chain Complex Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Carnosine