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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Jun;98(6):2163-8. Epub 2005 Jan 20.

Effect of glutamine on water and sodium absorption in human jejunum at baseline and during PGE1-induced secretion.

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ADEN (EA 3234), IFR 23, Faculté de Médecine-Pharmacie, 22 Boulevard Gambetta, 76183 Rouen Cedex, France.


Glutamine, a major fuel for enterocytes, stimulates water and sodium absorption in animal models of secretory diarrhea, but data in humans are still limited. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of glutamine on jejunal absorption during hypersecretion in humans. In six healthy adults, the effects of glutamine on jejunal absorption were assessed with a triple-lumen tube on two occasions, at baseline and during PGE(1)-induced hypersecretion (0.1 in a random order. Isoosmolar solutions containing polyethylene glycol 4000 as nonabsorbable marker were infused in the jejunum at 10 ml/min over 1-h periods: saline (sodium chloride 308 mmol/l), glucose-mannitol 45:45 mM, glucose 90 mM, alanine-glucose 45:45 mM, glutamine-glucose 45:45 mM, and glutamine 90 mM. Net absorptive and secretory fluxes were measured at steady state. At baseline, glutamine- and alanine-containing solutions induced a threefold increase of water and sodium absorption (P < 0.05); 90 mM glutamine stimulated water absorption more than 90 mM glucose (3.6 +/- 0.6 vs. 1.9 +/- 0.3 ml.min(-1).30 cm(-1), P < 0.05). PGE(1)-induced hypersecretion was reduced (P < 0.05) by solutions of alanine-glucose, glutamine-glucose, and glutamine 90 mM (P < 0.05) and reversed to absorption by alanine-glucose and glutamine-glucose. Glutamine and alanine absorption was nearly complete and was not influenced by PGE(1). In conclusion, glutamine stimulates water and electrolyte absorption in human jejunum, even during experimental hypersecretion. In addition to the metabolic effects of glutamine, these results support the evaluation of glutamine-containing solutions for the rehydration and the nutritional support of patients with secretory diarrhea.

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