A Comparative Study of Hummingbirds and Chickens Provides Mechanistic Insight on the Histidine Containing Dipeptide Role in Skeletal Muscle Metabolism
Histidine containing dipeptides (HCDs) have numerous ergogenic and therapeutic properties, but their primary role in skeletal muscle remains unclear. Potential functions include pH regulation, protection against reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, or Ca2+regulation. In recognition of the challenge of isolating physiological processes in-vivo, we employed a comparative physiology approach to investigate the primary mechanism of HCD action in skeletal muscle. We selected two avian species (i.e., hummingbirds and chickens), who represented the extremes of the physiological processes in which HCDs are likely to function. Our findings indicate that HCDs are non-essential to the development of highly oxidative and contractile muscle, given their very low content in hummingbird skeletal tissue. In contrast, their abundance in the glycolytic chicken muscle, indicate that they are important in anaerobic bioenergetics as pH regulators. This evidence provides new insights on the HCD role in skeletal muscle, which could inform widespread interventions, from health to elite performance.
Dolan, E., Saunders, B., Dantas, W. S., Murai, I. H., Roschel, H., Artioli, G. G., Harris, R., Bicudo, J. E. P. W., Sale, C. & Gualano, B. (2018). A Comparative Study of Hummingbirds and Chickens Provides Mechanistic Insight on the Histidine Containing Dipeptide Role in Skeletal Muscle Metabolism. Scientific Reports, 8 (1), 4788-1-4788-9.