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Rejuvenation Res. 2014 Aug;17(4):347-58. doi: 10.1089/rej.2014.1561.

Potential of birds to serve as pathology-free models of type 2 diabetes, part 2: do high levels of carbonyl-scavenging amino acids (e.g., taurine) and low concentrations of methylglyoxal limit the production of advanced glycation end-products?

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Deglycation Research Inc. , West Lebanon, New Hampshire.


In our previous publication, we reported on the advantages of using birds as a pathology-free model of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Using this new perspective, we observed that birds are missing the RAGE gene, considered an important factor in the development of diabetic complications. In this article, we identify two additional Maillard reaction-related characteristics of birds that have the potential to account, in part, for avian ability to cope successfully with chronic hyperglycemia. First, compared to mammals, blood plasma of birds has significantly higher concentrations of taurine and other free amino acids that act as scavengers of reactive carbonyls. Second, there are also indications that avian blood plasma contains lower concentrations of methylglyoxal (MG) due, in part, to its decreased production by avian erythrocytes. Our deductions are based on relatively meager experimental data and are therefore speculative. One certain outcome of our study, however, is the idea that birds can be a useful model for the study of Maillard reactions and etiology of diabetic complications. We anticipate and hope that results of future studies will support the hypothesis identifying MG as a key intermediate in the etiology of diabetic complications. If this is indeed the case, then prevention and control of diabetic complications may become transformed into a more circumscribed, defined, and tractable problem whose goals will be to minimize the production of MG and to maximize its elimination by detoxification or scavenging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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