The effects of methionine restriction (MR) in rodents are well established; it leads to decreased body and fat mass, improved glucose homeostasis and extended lifespan, despite increased energy intake. Leucine restriction (LR) replicates some, but not all, of these effects of MR. To determine any differences in metabolic effects between MR and LR, this study compared 8 weeks of MR (80% restriction), LR (80% restriction) and control diet in 10-month-old C57BL/6J male mice. Body composition, food intake and glucose homeostasis were measured throughout the study and biochemical analyses of white adipose tissue (WAT) and liver were performed. MR and LR decreased body and fat mass, increased food intake, elevated lipid cycling in WAT and improved whole-body glucose metabolism and hepatic insulin sensitivity in comparison to the control diet. MR produced more substantial effects than LR on body mass and glucose homeostasis and reduced hepatic lipogenic gene expression, which was absent with the LR diet. This could be a result of amino acid-specific pathways in the liver responsible for FGF21 stimulation (causing varied levels of FGF21 induction) and Akt activation. In summary, LR is effective at improving metabolic health; however, MR produces stronger effects, suggesting they activate distinct signalling pathways.
Lees, E., Banks, R., Cook, C., Hill, S., Morrice, N., Grant, L., Mody, N., & Delibegovic, M. (2017). Direct comparison of methionine restriction with leucine restriction on the metabolic health of C57BL/6J mice. Scientific Reports, 7, 1-10. . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10381-3