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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2000 May;278(5):E817-24.

Effect of enteral glutamine on leucine, phenylalanine and glutamine metabolism in hypercortisolemic subjects.

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Groupe de Biochimie et Physiopathologie Digestive et Nutritionnelle and Institut Fédératif de Recherches Multidisciplinaires sur les Peptides No. 23, Faculté de Médecine-Pharmacie, 76183 Rouen Cedex, France.


The effect of enteral Gln on protein and Gln metabolism was investigated during experimental hypercortisolemia. Four groups of subjects that had received corticosteroids and either enteral Gln (0.5 g x kg(-1) x day(-1) for 2 days) or isonitrogenous Ala-Gly were studied in a fasted or in a fed state. In either state, enteral Gln, compared with Ala-Gly, induced no statistically significant change in the endogenous rate of Leu appearance, an index of proteolysis, Leu oxidation, and nonoxidative Leu disposal, an index of protein synthesis, as studied by kinetics of [1-(13)C]Leu. Similar data were obtained from kinetics of [(2)H(5)]Phe, resulting in an unchanged protein balance in both cases. In contrast, enteral Gln significantly decreased the endogenous rate of Gln appearance and Gln de novo synthesis in the fed state (P < 0.05) as estimated by the kinetics of [(15)N]Gln. This decrease in Gln de novo synthesis induced by Gln could contribute to spare amino acids in hypercatabolic patients.

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