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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Glutamine ameliorates mechanical obstruction-induced intestinal injury.

BACKGROUND: Glutamine has been shown to be an important dietary component for the maintenance of gut integrity. Although considered a nonessential amino acid in normal circumstances, glutamine may become conditionally essential for the bowel during episodes of severe illness and malnutrition. In this study, we employed an animal model simulating mechanical intestinal obstruction to explore the beneficial effects of glutamine on the intestine in response to obstruction-induced injury. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rats were on three feeding regimens-standard diet and water (control group), diet and water containing 2% glutamine (glutamine group), or diet and water containing 2% arginine (arginine group)-for 3 days prior to surgical preparation of intestinal obstruction. The bowel distension, fluid accumulation, and histological alterations in the intestinal mucosa were measured 40 h after ileal ligation. RESULTS: After 3 days of drinking water intervention, the plasma glutamine levels in the glutamine group (677 +/- 12 microM) were higher than those in the control (451 +/- 27 microM) and arginine (379 +/- 25 microM) groups. The distension ratio measured 40 h after ileal ligation was significantly lower in the glutamine group (30.9 +/- 4.2%) than in the control and arginine groups (45.9 +/- 1.7 and 46.1 +/- 3.4%, respectively). Also, glutamine markedly decreased the fluid accumulation in the obstructed bowel segment (control group, 178.41 +/- 18.60 mg/cm; glutamine group, 104.97 +/- 13.17 mg/cm; arginine group, 141.4 +/- 12.85 mg/cm). Furthermore, the obstruction-induced mucosal injury was substantially improved in glutamine-fed rats. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that glutamine can significantly reduce the degree of those physiological derangements induced by mechanical intestinal obstruction.[1]


  1. Glutamine ameliorates mechanical obstruction-induced intestinal injury. Chang, T., Lu, R., Tsai, L. J. Surg. Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
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