Oral anserine supplementation does not attenuate type-2 diabetes or diabetic nephropathy in BTBR ob/ob mice

Amino Acids. 2021 Aug;53(8):1269-1277. doi: 10.1007/s00726-021-03033-4. Epub 2021 Jul 15.


Carnosine, a naturally occurring dipeptide present in an omnivorous diet, has been shown to ameliorate the development of metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes (T2D) and early- and advanced-stage diabetic nephropathy in different rodent models. Anserine, its methylated analogue, is more bio-available in humans upon supplementation without affecting its functionality. In this work, we investigated the effect of oral supplementation with anserine or carnosine on circulating and tissue anserine and carnosine levels and on the development of T2D and diabetic nephropathy in BTBR ob/ob mice. BTBR ob/ob mice were either supplemented with carnosine or anserine in drinking water (4 mM) for 18 weeks and compared with non-supplemented BTBR ob/ob and wild-type (WT) mice. Circulating and kidney, but not muscle, carnosine, and anserine levels were enhanced by supplementation with the respective dipeptides in ob/ob mice compared to non-treated ob/ob mice. The evolution of fasting blood glucose, insulin, fructosamine, triglycerides, and cholesterol was not affected by the supplementation regimens. The albumin/creatine ratio, glomerular hypertrophy, and mesangial matrix expansion were aggravated in ob/ob vs. WT mice, but not alleviated by supplementation. To conclude, long-term supplementation with anserine elevates circulating and kidney anserine levels in diabetic mice. However, anserine supplementation was not able to attenuate the development of T2D or diabetic nephropathy in BTBR ob/ob mice. Further research will have to elucidate whether anserine can attenuate milder forms of T2D or metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: Anserine; BTBR ob/ob mice; Carnosine; Diabetes; Diabetic nephropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anserine / administration & dosage*
  • Anserine / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Carnosine / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / complications
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / prevention & control*
  • Limit of Detection
  • Mice
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / genetics


  • Blood Glucose
  • Carnosine
  • Anserine