Using a double-lumen tube jejunal perfusion system in vivo, the mutual effects of carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) and glycylglycine on their respective absorption rates have been studied in six Zambian African adults. Data on the effect of the constituent amino-acids of carnosine on glycylglycine absorption rate have similarly been obtained. The solutions infused in each subject contained (A) carnosine (50 mmol l.-1), (B) carnosine (50 mmol l.-1) and glycylglycine (50 mmol l.-1), (C) glycylglycine (50 mmol l.-1), and (D) glycylglycine (50 mmol l.-1), L-histidine (50 mmol l.-1) and beta-alanine (50 mmol l.-1). Glycylglycine produced a significant impairment in the mean rate of histidine absorption from carnosine (P less than 0-01). However, carnosine did not have a significant effect on the mean rate of glycine absorption from glycylglycine. Mean rate of histidine absorption from solution D was significantly higher than that from solution A (P less than 0-01). Mean rate of glycine absorption from glycylglycine was not significantly different during infusion of solutions B, C, and D. The results are consistent with the concept that carnosine on glycylglycine is probably because the affinity of mechanism; the lack of influence of carnosine on glycylglycine is probably because the affinity of carnosine for the dipeptide uptake mechanism is relatively low. A gross difference has been shown between mean absorption rate of histidine from free L-histidine (solution D) (25-8 mmol h-1) and when it is given in the form of carnosine in the presence of another dipeptide (solution B) (8-7 mmol h-1); that emphasizes the complexity of amino acid and peptide interaction during absorption, which must be important in nutrition.
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