5 years ago

Leucine Transamination Is Lower in Middle-Aged Compared with Younger Adults.

Background: Insulin and age affect leucine (and protein) kinetics in vivo. However, to our knowledge, leucine transamination and the effects of insulin have not been studied in participants of different ages.Objective: The aims of the study were to measure whole-body leucine deamination to α-ketoisocaproate (KIC) and KIC reamination to leucine in middle-aged and younger healthy adults, both in the postabsorptive state and after hyperinsulinemia.Methods: Younger (mean ± SE age: 26 ± 2 y) and middle-aged (54 ± 3 y) healthy men and women were enrolled. Isotope dilution methods with 2 independent leucine and KIC tracers, a dual isotope model and the euglycemic, hyperinsulinemic clamp technique, were used.Results: Leucine deamination [expressed as μmol/(kg × min)] was consistently greater than KIC reamination. In middle-aged adults, postabsorptive leucine deamination (0.77 ± 0.05), reamination (0.49 ± 0.04), and net deamination (0.28 ± 0.04) were ∼30% lower than in the younger group (deamination: 1.12 ± 0.07; reamination: 0.70 ± 0.09; net deamination: 0.42 ± 0.04) (P < 0.002, P < 0.05, and P < 0.015, respectively). After the hyperinsulinemic clamp, plasma leucine and KIC concentrations were reduced by ∼50% in both groups. Deamination and reamination also were suppressed by ∼40-50% in both groups (P < 0.001); however, they remained lower [-35% (P = 0.02) and -25% (P = 0.036), respectively] in the middle-aged than in the younger participants. The leucine rate of appearance and its suppression by insulin were similar in the middle-aged and in the younger subjects. By using both the basal and the clamp data, deamination was directly correlated with the plasma leucine concentration (r = 0.61, P < 0.0025) and reamination to that of plasma KIC (r = 0.79, P < 0.00002). Expressing the data relative to lean body mass did not substantially alter the results.Conclusions: Leucine deamination and reamination are lower in middle-aged than in younger adults, both in the postabsorptive and in the insulin-stimulated state. In middle age, a decreased net leucine transamination may represent a mechanism to spare this essential amino acid.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.3945/jn.117.250852

DOI: 10.3945/jn.117.250852

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