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Lancet. 1990 Sep 1;336(8714):523-5.

Does glutamine contribute to immunosuppression after major burns?

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, UK.


The effects of glutamine concentration on the rates of lymphocyte proliferation after mitogenic stimulation and of phagocytosis by macrophages were investigated in vitro. A decrease in the glutamine concentration in culture medium from 0.6 to 0.05 mmol/l greatly decreased the rate of proliferation of human lymphocytes and of phagocytosis by mouse macrophages. In patients with major burn injury plasma glutamine concentration was 58% lower than that in normal controls and it remained low for at least 21 days after the injury. The findings indicate that the decrease in plasma glutamine concentration may contribute to the injury-induced impairment of immune function occurring after major burn injury.

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