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Jpn J Pharmacol. 1987 Oct;45(2):243-8.

Exercise-induced changes in branched chain amino acid/aromatic amino acid ratio in the rat brain and plasma.

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Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Saga Research Institute, Japan.


Central fatigue was induced by running rats on a treadmill. Amino acid and ammonia metabolism in the brain and blood were followed with time to correlate its changes with physical exhaustion. The blood ammonia level did not change during running, but was prominently increased at exhaustion. The brain level of ammonia was also prominently high at the end of exercise with a time course of change similar to that of the blood level. Plasma concentrations of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) and aromatic amino acids (AAA) increased as the animals continued to run; however, the plasma BCAA/AAA ratio was definitely depressed at exhaustion. This was also true with the brain BCAA/AAA ratio. A positive correlation was demonstrated between the plasma and brain BCAA/AAA ratios at r=0.5040 and P less than 0.05. These exercise-related changes suggest that physical exercise-induced central fatigue involves not only an increase in brain ammonia, but also a disturbance in brain amine metabolism accompanying plasma and brain BCAA/AAA ratio depression. Furthermore, the ammonia level and BCAA/AAA ratio in the brain correlated with those in the blood. It is reasonable to consider that the blood ammonia concentration and plasma BCAA/AAA ratio may serve as important indices of the clinical condition of exercise-induced central fatigue.

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