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Gastroenterology. 1992 Mar;102(3):936-48.

Altered glutamine metabolism in rat portal drained viscera and hindquarter during hyperammonemia.

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Department of Surgery, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


In normal rats, muscle is the major glutamine releasing organ and gut is the major glutamine consuming organ. It has been suggested that enhanced muscle ammonia detoxification and gut ammonia production occurs during liver insufficiency-induced hyperammonemia. Therefore, ammonia and amino acid fluxes across portal-drained viscera and hindquarter, and muscle concentrations were measured in portacaval shunted and acute liver ischemia rats. Arterial ammonia and most amino acids were increased after portacaval shunting and increased progressively during liver ischemia, but net hindquarter ammonia uptake was not observed. Net hindquarter glutamine efflux was increased during portacaval shunting, but it decreased during liver ischemia, while muscle glutamine concentrations increased. The comparable net portal drained viscera glutamine uptake in normal and portacaval shunted rats changed during liver ischemia from net uptake to release, coinciding with release of most other amino acids. These results cast doubt on the ammonia detoxifying role of muscle during acute liver ischemia-induced hyperammonemia in the rat. The portal drained viscera glutamine release during severe hyperammonemia could be due to intestinal damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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