Effect of dietary protein and GABA on food intake, growth and tissue amino acids in cats

Jean K. Tews, Quinton R. Rogers, James G. Morris, Alfred E. Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


GABA at 5%, but not 3%, of a low protein diet depressed food intake and growth of kittens. Adaptation to high protein prevented these effects. When cats adapted to low or high protein were fed a meal containing GABA, plasma GABA concentration after 2 hr was 8-fold higher in the low than in the high protein group; clearance was almost complete within 6 hr. Concentrations of proline, branched-chain, other large neutral and basic (especially ornithine) amino acids increased more when cats were fed a high rather than a low protein meal; glycine decreased. At 6 hr, concentrations had consistently returned to initial levels only in the low protein group. Feeding the high protein diet ad lib increased tissue concentrations of threonine, proline and the branched-chain amino acids. Hepatic or renal GABA-aminotransferase activity was not altered in kittens fed the high protein diet. Kidney activity was 10-fold that of liver, which may contribute to the better tolerance of GABA by cats than by rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984


  • Cats
  • Dietary GABA
  • Dietary protein
  • Food intake
  • GABA-aminotransferase
  • Growth
  • Tissue amino acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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