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Clin Sci (Lond). 2002 Nov;103(5):525-31.

Albumin synthesis in humans increases immediately following the administration of endotoxin.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Huddinge University Hospital, S-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.


In order to investigate the immediate (i.e. within 3 h) response of albumin synthesis to the administration of endotoxin, as a model of a moderate and well controlled catabolic insult, two measurements employing L-[(2)H(5)]phenylalanine were performed in 16 volunteers. One group ( n =8) received an intravenous injection of endotoxin (4 ng/kg; lot EC-6) immediately after the first measurement of albumin synthesis, whereas the other group received saline. A second measurement was initiated 1 h later. In the endotoxin group, the fractional synthesis rate of albumin was 6.9+/-0.6%/day (mean+/-S.D.) in the first measurement. In the second measurement, a significant increase was observed (9.6+/-1.2%/day; P <0.001). The corresponding values in the control group were were 6.6+/-0.6%/day and 7.0+/-0.6%/day respectively (not significant compared with first measurement and P <0.001 compared with the second measurement in the endotoxin group). The absolute synthesis rates of albumin were 148+/-35 and 201+/-49 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1) before and after endotoxin ( P <0.01). In the control group, the corresponding values were 131+/-21 and 132+/-20 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1) (not significant compared with the first measurement and P <0.01 compared with the second measurement in the endotoxin group). In conclusion, these results indicate that albumin synthesis increases in the very early phase after a catabolic insult, as represented by the administration of endotoxin.

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