Carnosine modulates nitric oxide in stimulated murine RAW 264.7 macrophages
Imidazole dipeptides (ID), such as carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine), are compounds widely distributed in excitable tissues of vertebrates. ID are also endowed of several biochemical properties in biological tissues, including antioxidant, bivalent metal ion chelating, proton buffering, and carbonyl scavenger activities. Furthermore, remarkable biological effects have been assigned to such compounds in age-related human disorders and in patients whose activity of serum carnosinase is deficient or undetectable. Nevertheless, the precise biological role of ID is still to be unraveled. In the present review we shall discuss some evidences from clinical and basic studies for the utilization of ID as a drug therapy for age-related human disorders.