Amino acids

Effect of alanyl-glutamine on leucine and protein metabolism in irradiated rats.

PMID 12025876


The mechanism by which glutamine produces a favorable effect in the treatment of sepsis, injury, burns and abdominal irradiation is not completely understood. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of alanyl-glutamine (AlaGln) administration on the metabolism of proteins in irradiated rats. The rats were exposed to whole-body irradiation (8Gy) and then fed intragastrically with a mixture of glucose and amino acids either with AlaGln or without AlaGln. At 48 hours after irradiation, parameters of whole-body protein metabolism and DNA synthesis in intestinal mucosa were investigated using a primed, continuous infusion of [1-14C]leucine and [3H]thymidine. In addition, we evaluated the effect of irradiation and AlaGln on gut morphology, blood count and amino acid concentrations in blood plasma and skeletal muscle. Control rats were not irradiated but were given identical treatment. An increase in whole-body leucine oxidation, and insignificant changes in whole-body proteolysis and in protein synthesis were observed after irradiation. In irradiated rats we observed a decrease in muscle glutamine concentration, a decrease in protein synthesis in jejunum, colon and heart, and an increase in synthesis of proteins of blood plasma and spleen. Morphological examination and measurement of DNA synthesis failed to demonstrate any favorable effect of AlaGln supplementation on irradiated gut. However, administration of AlaGln resulted in a decrease in whole-body proteolysis and leucine oxidation which caused an increase in the fraction of leucine incorporated into the pool of body proteins. We conclude that the data obtained demonstrate that irradiation induces metabolic derangement associated with increased oxidation of essential branched-chain amino acids (valine, leucine and isoleucine) and that these disturbances can be ameliorated by administration of AlaGln.

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Ala-Gln, ≥98% (HPLC)