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L-Ornithine α-Ketoglutarate Monohydrate

OKG; OAKG; L-Ornithine 2-oxoglutarate monohydrate
5144-42-3 (net)
H-Orn-OH . α-ketoglutarate (2:1)
Molecular Formula
C5H12N2O2 · 0.5 C5H6O5 · 0.5 H2O
Long-term Storage Conditions
Ornithine α-ketoglutarate (OKG) is a drug used in liver therapy. It is the salt formed from ornithine and alpha-ketoglutaric acid. It is also used to improve nutritional health in elderly patients.
L-Ornithine is a non-essential amino acid, metabolized to generate L-arginine, which is further incorporated into proteins. α-Ketoglutarate is a key intermediate in the Krebs cycle, coming after isocitrate and before succinyl CoA. Acting as a co-substrate, α-Ketoglutarate also plays important function in oxidation reactions involving molecular oxygen.
Areas of Interest
Dietary nutrition & Hyperammonaemia Hepatic encephalopathy

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L-Ornithine is a non-essential amino acid. In mammalian tissue, L-ornithine is metabolized to generate L-arginine which is (contrary to ornithine) incorporated into proteins. Hence, L-ornithine α-ketoglutarate monohydrate (OKG) is used as a dietary supplement and in parenteral nutrition.

Intracerebroventricular injection of L-ornithine has demonstrated sedative and hypnotic effects in neonatal chicks exposed to acute stressful conditions. However, whether orally administered L-ornithine can reduce acute mental stress remains to be defined. To clarify the nutritional importance of L-ornithine in controlling the stress response, in Experiment 1 we first investigated whether orally administered L-ornithine can be transported into the brain of mice. Mice were orally administered L-ornithine (3 mmol/water 10 ml/kg, per os). L-Ornithine levels were significantly elevated in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus at 30 and 60 minutes post-administration. In Experiment 2, the effect of orally administered L-ornithine (0, 0.1875, 0.75 and 3 mmol/water 10 ml/kg, per os) on anxiety-like behavior in mice exposed to the elevated plus-maze test was examined at 30 minutes post-administration. There was a significant increase in the percentage of time spent and entries in the open arms in the group receiving 0.75 mmol of L-ornithine compared to the control group. Furthermore, locomotion activity in a novel environment was not significantly changed between the control group and 0.75 mmol of L-ornithine group in Experiment 3. Therefore, it appears that orally administrated L-ornithine is bioavailable to the rodent brain and reduces anxiety-like behavior as demonstrated by the elevated plus-maze test.

Kurata, K., Nagasawa, M., Tomonaga, S., Aoki, M., Morishita, K., Denbow, D. M., & Furuse, M. (2011). Orally administered L-ornithine elevates brain L-ornithine levels and has an anxiolytic-like effect in mice. Nutritional neuroscience, 14(6), 243-248.

L-Ornithine is a non-proteinogenic amino acid, abundant in freshwater clams and commercially available as an oral nutritional supplement. L-Ornithine is metabolized by ornithine-δ-aminotransferase. Deficiency of this enzyme causes gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina, an autosomal recessive hereditary disease characterized by the triad of progressive chorioretinal degeneration, early cataract formation, and type II muscle fiber atrophy, with hyperornithinemia. However, it is unknown whether long-term L-ornithine supplementation affects visual function and retinal histology. The aim of the present study is to determine the effect of long-term supplementation of excess amounts of L-ornithine on visual function and retinal histology in rats. Male Brown Norway rats at six weeks of age were allowed free access to chow containing 4% (w/w) L-ornithine (the high ornithine diet) or that containing 4% (w/w) casein (the control diet) for 49 weeks. The dose of L-ornithine calculated from the food intake was approximately 0.8 g/d/animal, which was 100 times higher than the recommended dose for healthy humans. The amplitude of the a-wave of the scotopic rod-cone electroretinogram and the number of cells in the ganglion cell layer in the L-ornithine-treated group were larger than those in the control group 49 weeks after initiating the test diet. No functional or histological damage to the retina was seen up to 49 weeks after the start of the high-ornithine diet. The present study demonstrated that long-term supplementation of very high doses of L-ornithine for at least 49 weeks did not induce retinal damage.

Sakamoto, K., Mori, A., Nakahara, T., Morita, M., & Ishii, K. (2015). Effect of long-term treatment of L-ornithine on visual function and retinal histology in the rats. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 38(1), 139-143.

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