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J Nutr. 2002 Oct;132(10):3219S-24S.

Regulation of muscle protein by amino acids.

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University of Texas Medical Branch and Shriners Burns Hospital, Department of Surgery, Galveston 77550, USA.


Amino acid availability is a potent regulator of muscle protein synthesis (MPS). We have performed a series of studies using stable isotope methodology and the arteriovenous balance approach to quantify many aspects of the response of MPS, breakdown, and the balance between synthesis and breakdown to changes in the availability of amino acids. A constant intake of amino acids stimulates MPS in a dose-dependent manner until concentrations are approximately doubled, after which further increases in concentration are ineffective. MPS rises more rapidly after bolus ingestion to a peak rate of MPS higher than during constant intake, but the response is transient. A reduction in amino acid availability below basal levels inhibits MPS. Ingestion of nonessential amino acids is not needed to stimulate MPS. When carbohydrate alone is ingested there is minimal effect on MPS, but there is an interactive effect with amino acid ingestion, meaning the response to amino acids plus glucose is more than the sum of their individual effects. Finally, acute anabolic responses in net MPS correspond quantitatively to differences in 24-h net muscle balances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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