Supplemental GAA or creatine spare arginine
Suckling piglets synthesize most of their creatine requirement, which consumes substantial amounts of arginine in order to synthesize guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) and methionine in order to transmethylate GAA to creatine. To determine whether supplemental GAA or creatine spare arginine and/or methionine for protein synthesis and, if GAA is supplemented, whether excess methionine is needed for conversion to creatine. Yucatan miniature piglets (9-11 days old; both sexes) were fed 1 of 5 elemental diets for 5 days: 1) low arginine (0.3 g·kg-1·d-1) and low methionine (0.20 g·kg-1·d-1; Base); 2) Base plus GAA (0.093 g·kg-1·d-1; +GAA); 3) Base plus GAA plus excess methionine (0.5 g·kg-1·d-1; +GAA/Met); 4) Base plus creatine (0.12 g·kg-1·d-1; +Cre); or 5) excess arginine (1.8 g·kg-1·d-1) and excess methionine (+Arg/Met). Isotope tracers were infused to determine whole-body GAA, creatine, and protein synthesis; tissues were analyzed for creatine synthesis enzymes and metabolite concentrations. Data were analyzed by 1-way ANOVA. GAA and creatine syntheses were 115% and 32% higher, respectively, with the +Arg/Met diet (P < 0.0001), in spite of 33% lower renal L-arginine: glycine amidinotransferase activity (P < 0.0001) compared to Base, suggesting substrate availability dictates synthesis rather than enzyme capacity. GAA or creatine supplementation reduced arginine conversion to creatine by 46% and 43%, respectively (P < 0.01), but did not spare amino acids for whole-body protein synthesis, suggesting that limited amino acids were diverted to protein at the expense of creatine synthesis. The +GAA/Met diet led to higher creatine concentrations in the kidney (2.6-fold) and liver (7.6-fold) than the +GAA diet (P < 0.01), suggesting excess methionine is needed for GAA conversion to creatine. Piglets are capable of synthesizing sufficient creatine from the precursor amino acids arginine and methionine, or from GAA plus methionine.
Dinesh OC, Kankayaliyan T, Rademacher M, Tomlinson C, Bertolo RF, Brunton JA. Neonatal Piglets Can Synthesize Adequate Creatine, but Only with Sufficient Dietary Arginine and Methionine, or with Guanidinoacetate and Excess Methionine. J Nutr. 2021 Jan 12:nxaa369. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxaa369. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33437999.