Bioactivity of food peptides: biological response of rats to bovine milk whey peptides following acute exercise

  • Carolina Soares Moura
  • Pablo Christiano Barboza Lollo
  • Priscila Neder Morato
  • Eder Muller Risso
  • Jaime Amaya-Farfan
Keywords: Bioactive peptides, whey protein hydrolysate, HSP, immune, glycogen


Background: Several physiologically beneficial effects of consuming a whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) have been attributed to the greater availability of bioactive peptides.

Aims: The aim was to investigate the effect of four branched-chain amino acid- (BCAA-)containing dipeptides, present in WPH, on immune modulation, stimulation of HSP expression, muscle protein synthesis, glycogen content, satiety signals and the impact of these peptides on the plasma free amino acid profiles.

Methods: The animals were divided in groups: control (rest, without gavage), vehicle (water), L-isoleucyl-L-leucine (lle-Leu), L-leucyl-L-isoleucine (Leu-lle), L-valyl-Lleucine (Val-Leu), L-leucyl-L-valine (Leu-Val) and WPH. All animals were submitted to acute exercise, except for control.

Results: lle-Leu stimulated immune response, hepatic and muscle glycogen and HSP60 expression, whereas Leu-Val enhanced HSP90 expression. All dipeptides reduced glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, no changes were observed on leptin. All peptides inhibited NF-kB expression. The plasma amino acid time-course showed peptide-specific and isomer-specific metabolic features, including increases of the BCAAs.

Conclusion: The data indicate that lle-Leu was effective to attenuate immune-suppression exercise-induced, promoted glycogen content and stimulated anti-stress effect (HSP). Furthermore, Leu-Val increased HSP90, p-4EBP1, p-mTOR and p-AMPK expression. The data suggest the involvement of these peptides in various beneficial functions of WPH consumption.


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How to Cite
Soares Moura, C., Barboza Lollo, P. C., Neder Morato, P., Muller Risso, E., & Amaya-Farfan, J. (2017). Bioactivity of food peptides: biological response of rats to bovine milk whey peptides following acute exercise. Food & Nutrition Research, 61. Retrieved from
Original Articles