Effectiveness of citrulline and N-carbamoyl glutamate as arginine precursors on reproductive performance in mammals: A systematic review.
ABSTRACT: The use of functional nutrients has been proposed to reduce the occurrence of intrauterine growth retardation in animals at birth in several mammalian species. The objective of this study was to verify the effectiveness of citrulline and N-carbamylglutamate (NCG) dietary supplementation as arginine precursors for mammalian species, and the effects on fetal development through a systematic review. The search for studies was performed during August 2018 in the PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Science Direct, and Scopus databases. The literature search was conducted using "arginine precursor", "citrulline", or "N-carbamylglutamate" as keywords, combined with "gestation", "pregnancy", "fetus", "newborn", or "reproduction". Studies in which arginine precursors were evaluated in gestating mammals and their effects on parameters related to the intrauterine development of the conceptus were selected. Of 1,379 articles, 18 were selected, primarily based on the title and the abstract. Supplementation with NCG (0.5 g to 2 g/kg of feed) increased maternal plasma arginine concentrations in all studies that evaluated this variable. Fetal number increased in 55.56% of the studies that evaluated it, and fetal weight increased in the majority (62.5%) of the studies evaluating this variable. By supplementing citrulline, only fetal weight was improved, with an increase in maternal plasma arginine in 40% of the studies. In conclusion, N-carbamoyl glutamate seems to be an arginine precursor more effective than L-citrulline during gestation; however, both precursors, beside L-Arginine, should be evaluated in similar conditions to confirm the existence of specific particularities such as periods and levels of supplementation, which need to be considered for different species of animals. The supplementation of NCG increases arginine concentrations in maternal plasma, thus improving mammalian reproductive efficiency and fetal development, mainly by promoting higher birth weight.
Project description:L-arginine administration may be useful for the treatment of intrauterine growth restriction, but concerns remain about effective precursors for administration into pregnant dams. Therefore, we used an ovine model to test the hypothesis that infusion of L-citrulline into the maternal circulation increases L-arginine availability to the fetus. On d 135 +/- 1 of gestation, ewes received an i.v. bolus dose of L-citrulline (155 micromol/kg body weight) or the same dose of L-arginine-HCl. Maternal and fetal arterial blood samples were obtained simultaneously at -120, -60, 0, 5, 15, 30, 60, 120, 180, and 240 min relative to the time of amino acid administration. Concentrations of arginine in maternal plasma increased to peak values within 5 min after its injection in ewes and declined rapidly thereafter, whereas concentrations of arginine in fetal plasma increased between 15 and 30 min and returned to baseline values by 60 min. In contrast, administration of citrulline increased concentrations of citrulline and arginine in maternal and fetal plasma between 5 and 60 min and values remained elevated thereafter. The differential pharmacokinetics for arginine compared with citrulline infusion was consistent with the observation that the half-life of citrulline was twice that of arginine in ewes. We conclude that i.v. administration of citrulline is more effective than arginine in sustaining high concentrations of arginine in the maternal and fetal circulations of pregnant ewes. These novel findings provide support for studies of the clinical use of arginine and citrulline as therapeutic means to prevent or ameliorate fetal growth retardation in mammals.
Project description:Aberrant fetal growth remains a leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality and is associated with a risk of developing non-communicable diseases later in life. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis combining human and animal studies to assess whether prenatal amino acid (AA) supplementation could be a promising approach to promote healthy fetal growth. PubMed, Embase and Cochrane libraries were searched to identify studies orally supplementing the following AA groups during gestation: (1) arginine family; (2) branched chain (BCAA); (3) methyl donors. Primary outcome was fetal/birth weight. 22 human and 89 animal studies were included in the systematic review. The arginine family, and especially arginine itself, was studied most. Our meta-analysis showed beneficial effects of arginine and (N-Carbamyl) glutamate (NCG), but not aspartic acid and citrulline on fetal/birth weight. However, no effects were reported when isonitrogenous control diet was included. BCAA and methyl donor supplementation did not affect fetal/birth weight. Arginine family supplementation, in particular arginine and NCG, improves fetal growth in complicated pregnancies. BCAA and methyl donor supplementation do not seem to be as promising to target fetal growth. Well controlled research in complicated pregnancies is needed before ruling out AA supplements or preferring arginine above other AAs.
Project description:Glutamine and N-carbamylglutamate can enhance growth performance and health in animals, but the underlying mechanisms are not yet elucidated. This study aimed to investigate the effect of glutamine and N-carbamylglutamate supplementation in rat metabolism. Thirty rats were fed a control, glutamine, or N-carbamylglutamate diet for four weeks. Urine samples were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics, specifically high-resolution ¹H NMR metabolic profiling combined with multivariate data analysis. Glutamine significantly increased the urine levels of acetamide, acetate, citrulline, creatinine, and methymalonate, and decreased the urine levels of ethanol and formate (p < 0.05). Moreover, N-carbamylglutamate significantly increased the urine levels of creatinine, ethanol, indoxyl sulfate, lactate, methymalonate, acetoacetate, m-hydroxyphenylacetate, and sarcosine, and decreased the urine levels of acetamide, acetate, citrulline, creatine, glycine, hippurate, homogentisate, N-acetylglutamate, phenylacetyglycine, acetone, and p-hydroxyphenylacetate (p < 0.05). Results suggested that glutamine and N-carbamylglutamate could modify urinary metabolome related to nitrogen metabolism and gut microbiota metabolism. Moreover, N-carbamylglutamate could alter energy and lipid metabolism. These findings indicate that different arginine precursors may lead to differences in the biofluid profile in rats.
Project description:Administration of N-carbamylglutamate (NCG), an analogue of endogenous N-acetyl-glutamate (an activator of arginine synthesis) has been shown to enhance neonatal growth by increasing circulating arginine levels. However, the effect of NCG on pregnancy remains unknown. This study examined the effects of NCG on pregnancy outcome and evaluated potential mechanisms involved. Reproductive performance, embryo implantation, and concentration of amino acids in serum and uterine flushing, were determined in rats fed control or NCG supplemented diets. Ishikawa cells and JAR cells were used to examine the mechanism by which NCG affects embryo implantation. Dietary NCG supplementation increased serum levels of arginine, onithine, and proline, as well as uterine levels of arginine, glutamine, glutamate, and proline. Additionally, it stimulated LIF expression, and enhanced the activation of signal transduction and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3), protein kinase B (PKB), and 70-kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase (S6K1) during the periimplantation period, resulting in an increase in litter size but not birth weight. In uterine Ishikawa cells, LIF expression was also enhanced by treatment with arginine and its metabolites. In trophoblast JAR cells, treatment with arginine and its metabolites enhanced Stat3, PKB, and S6K1 activation and facilitated cellular adhesion activity. These effects were abolished by pretreatment with inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (wortmannin) and mammalian target of rapamycin (rapamycin). The results demonstrate that NCG supplementation enhances pregnancy outcome and have important implications for the pregnancy outcome of mammalian species.
Project description:N-carbamylglutamate (NCG), an analogue of N-acetyl-L-glutamate (NAG), can increase arginine synthesis in mammals and improve the reproductive performance. However, the effect of NCG on poultry laying performance is still unclear. This study investigated the effect of dietary NCG on development of chicken ovarian follicles. The dosage and timing for NCG administration were evaluated for its effect on follicular development. Results showed that supplementation with 1% NCG in the diet for 14 D led to accelerated development of growing follicles (over 60 ?m in oocyte diameter) and significantly increased feed intake and feed efficiency. Plasma amino acids (AA) analysis showed that feeding with 1% NCG significantly increased of plasma AA levels. RNA-seq analysis revealed that NCG supplementation upregulated expression of genes related to angiogenesis and cell proliferation, but downregulated expression of apoptosis-related genes. Meanwhile, RT-qPCR and Western blot analysis validated the RNA-seq results. Moreover, NCG enhanced plasma NO level; upregulated expression of PKG-I, Raf1, and p-p38; and increased angiogenesis of the ovaries. In conclusion, dietary NCG (1% for 14 D) can promote development of ovarian follicles by increasing angiogenesis in ovaries of the chicken.
Project description:L-arginine (Arg) is a semiessential amino acid with several physiological functions. N-Carbamylglutamate (NCG) can promote the synthesis of endogenous Arg in mammals. However, the roles of Arg or NCG on hepatic inflammation and apoptosis in suckling lambs suffering from intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) are still unclear. The current work is aimed at examining the effects of dietary Arg and NCG on inflammatory and hepatocyte apoptosis in IUGR suckling lambs. On day 7 after birth, 48 newborn Hu lambs were selected from a cohort of 432 twin lambs. Normal-birthweight and IUGR Hu lambs were allocated randomly (n = 12/group) to control (CON), IUGR, IUGR+1% Arg, or IUGR+0.1% NCG groups. Lambs were fed for 21 days from 7 to 28 days old. Compared with CON lambs, relative protein 53 (P53), apoptosis antigen 1 (Fas), Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax), caspase-3, cytochrome C, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?), nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-?B) p65, and NF-?B pp65 protein levels were higher (P < 0.05) in liver from IUGR lambs, whereas those in liver from IUGR lambs under Arg or NCG treatment were lower than those in IUGR lambs. These findings indicated that supplementing Arg or NCG reduced the contents of proinflammatory cytokines at the same time when the apoptosis-related pathway was being suppressed, thus suppressing the IUGR-induced apoptosis of hepatic cells.
Project description:High-altitude pulmonary hypertension (HAPH) is a life-threating condition for animals in high altitude, and disturbance of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthesis contributes to its pathogenesis. N-carbamylglutamate (NCG), which enhances arginine synthesis, promotes endogenous synthesis of NO. In this study, we determined the effects of NCG on alleviating HAPH in Holstein heifers that ascended to Tibet (Lhasa, 3,658 m).Exp. 1, 2,000 Holstein heifers were transported from low elevation (1,027 m) to Lhasa. After being exposed to hypoxia for 1 yr, Holstein heifers were assigned to a healthy group (Control, n?=?6) with mean pulmonary hypertension (mPAP)?<?41 mmHg, and an HAPH affected group (HAPH, n?=?6) with mPAP >?49 mmHg. Lung tissues were collected to evaluate histopathological changes and the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Exp. 2, ten healthy heifers and 10 HAPH affected heifers were supplemented with NCG (20 g/d per heifer) for 4 wk. Physiological parameters were determined and blood samples were collected on d?-?1 and d 28 of the feeding trial.Expression of eNOS in small pulmonary arteriole intima was higher in the healthy than HAPH group (P?=?0.006), whereas HAPH group had significantly thicker media and adventitia than healthy group (all P?<?0.05). The mRNA of eNOS and protein level of eNOS were higher in the lungs of heifers in the healthy group than in the HAPH group (both P?<?0.001), whereas endothelin-1 protein levels were higher in HAPH group than in the healthy group (P?=?0.025). NCG supplementation decreased mPAP and ammonia (both P?=?0.001), whereas it increased the expression of eNOS, arginine, and plasma NO (all P?<?0.05).The expression of eNOS was decreased in Holstein heifers with HAPH. NCG supplementation decreased mPAP through the restoration of eNOS and endogenous NO synthesis.
Project description:The detoxification of ammonia to urea requires a functional hepatic urea cycle, which consists of six enzymes and two mitochondrial membrane transporters. The initial step of the urea cycle is catalyzed by carbamyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1). CPS1 deficiency (CPS1D) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder. N-Carbamylglutamate (NCG), a deacylase-resistant analogue of N-acetylglutamate, can activate CPS1. We describe the therapeutic course of a patient suffering from neonatal onset CPS1D with compound heterozygosity for the c.2359C > T (p.Arg787*) and c.3559G > T (p.Val1187Phe) variants in CPS1, treated with NCG. She presented with hyperammonemia, which reached 944 ?mol/L at the age of 2 days. The ammonia concentration decreased after treatment with continuous hemodiafiltration, NCG, sodium benzoate, sodium phenylbutyrate, L-arginine, vitamin cocktail (vitamin B1, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, biotin), l-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, and parenteral nutrition. Her ammonia and glutamine levels remained low; thus, protein intake was increased to 1.2 g/kg/day. Furthermore, the amount of sodium benzoate and sodium phenylbutyrate were reduced. She remained metabolically stable and experienced no metabolic crisis following treatment with oral NCG, sodium benzoate, sodium phenylbutyrate, citrulline, vitamin cocktail, l-carnitine, and coenzyme Q10 until she underwent liver transplantation at 207 days of age. She had no neurological complications at the age of 15 months. Ammonia and glutamine levels of the patient were successfully maintained at a low level via NCG treatment with increased protein intake, which led to normal neurological development. Thus, undiagnosed urea cycle disorders should be treated rapidly with acute therapy including NCG, which should be maintained until a genetic diagnosis is reached. It is essential to prevent metabolic crises in patients with CPS1D until liver transplantation to improve their prognoses.
Project description:Fetal brain injury induced by intrauterine inflammation is a major risk factor for adverse neurological outcomes, including cerebral palsy, cognitive dysfunction, and behavioral disabilities. There are no adequate therapies for neuronal protection to reduce fetal brain injury, especially new strategies that may apply promptly and conveniently. In this study, we explored the effect of maternal glucose administration in a mouse model of intrauterine inflammation at term. Our results demonstrated that maternal glucose supplementation significantly increased survival birth rate and improved the neurobehavioral performance of pups exposed to intrauterine inflammation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that maternal glucose administration improved myelination and oligodendrocyte development in offspring exposed to intrauterine inflammation. Though the maternal blood glucose concentration was temporally prevented from decrease induced by intrauterine inflammation, the glucose concentration in fetal brain was not recovered by maternal glucose supplementation. The adenosine triphosphate (ATP) level and autophagy in fetal brain were regulated by maternal glucose supplementation, which may prevent dysregulation of cellular metabolism. Our study is the first to provide evidence for the role of maternal glucose supplementation in the cell survival of fetal brain during intrauterine inflammation and further support the possible medication with maternal glucose treatment.
Project description:Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) syndrome is one of the most frequent maternally inherited mitochondrial disorders. The pathogenesis of this syndrome is not fully understood and believed to result from several interacting mechanisms including impaired mitochondrial energy production, microvasculature angiopathy, and nitric oxide (NO) deficiency. NO deficiency in MELAS syndrome is likely to be multifactorial in origin with the decreased availability of the NO precursors, arginine and citrulline, playing a major role. In this study we used stable isotope infusion techniques to assess NO production in children with MELAS syndrome and healthy pediatric controls. We also assessed the effect of oral arginine and citrulline supplementations on NO production in children with MELAS syndrome. When compared to control subjects, children with MELAS syndrome were found to have lower NO production, arginine flux, plasma arginine, and citrulline flux. In children with MELAS syndrome, arginine supplementation resulted in increased NO production, arginine flux, and arginine concentration. Citrulline supplementation resulted in a greater increase of these parameters. Additionally, citrulline supplementation was associated with a robust increase in citrulline concentration and flux and de novo arginine synthesis rate. The greater effect of citrulline in increasing NO production is due to its greater ability to increase arginine availability particularly in the intracellular compartment in which NO synthesis takes place. This study, which is the first one to assess NO metabolism in children with mitochondrial diseases, adds more evidence to the notion that NO deficiency occurs in MELAS syndrome, suggests a better effect for citrulline because of its greater role as NO precursor, and indicates that impaired NO production occurs in children as well as adults with MELAS syndrome. Thus, the initiation of treatment with NO precursors may be beneficial earlier in life. Controlled clinical trials to assess the therapeutic effects of arginine and citrulline on clinical complications of MELAS syndrome are needed.