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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2003 Nov;73(6):468-77.

The effect of graded levels of dietary casein, with or without methionine supplementation, on glutathione concentration in unstressed and endotoxin-treated rats.

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Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7PX, UK.


Glutathione (GSH) concentration was measured in rats fed either graded levels of dietary casein (experiment 1; 180 g, 120 g, 80 g, or 60 g protein/kg diet) or graded levels of dietary casein, supplemented with methionine to equalize dietary sulfur amino acid content to that seen in an 180 g/kg casein diet supplemented with 0.3 g L-methionine/kg diet (experiment 2; 180 g protein +0.3 g L-methionine, 80 g protein +6.70 g L-methionine, or 60 g protein +7.45 g L-methionine/kg diet). Rats were given an inflammatory challenge by intraperitoneal injection of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide from Escherichia coli), and were compared with ad libitum and pair-fed controls. Glutathione concentration in various organs (liver, lung, spleen, and thymus) decreased in animals fed the low-protein diets (80 g or 60 g/kg diet). Addition of the sulfur amino acid, methionine, to the low-protein diets restored glutathione concentrations in animals fed ad libitum and prevented the fall in GSH concentration, which occurred in lung, spleen, and thymus in response to the endotoxin. Despite the similarity in the amount of sulfur amino acid consumed between the groups fed the 180 g protein +0.3 g L-methionine and the 60 g protein +7.45 g L-methionine/kg diet, in experiment 2, hepatic GSH concentration significantly increased in the latter group, in animals fed ad libitum and in the endotoxin-treated animals, but not in the pair-fed controls.

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