Intravenous glutamine supplementation enhances renal de novo arginine synthesis in humans: a stable isotope study.Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 100(5):1385-91AJ
Arginine plays a role in many different pathways in multiple cell types. Consequently, a shortage of arginine, caused by pathologic conditions such as cancer or injury, has the potential to disturb many cellular and organ functions. Glutamine is the ultimate source for de novo synthesis of arginine in humans via the intestinal-renal axis. Therefore, we hypothesized that parenteral glutamine supplementation may stimulate the interorgan pathway of arginine production.
The objectives were to quantify arginine production from its precursor glutamine and to establish the contribution of the kidneys to de novo synthesis of arginine in patients receiving intravenous supplementation of glutamine dipeptide during major abdominal surgery.
Whole-body and renal metabolism of glutamine, citrulline, and arginine was assessed by stable isotope techniques in 7 patients receiving a perioperative supplement of intravenous alanyl-glutamine (0.5 g · kg(-1) · d(-1)).
Plasma glutamine, citrulline, and arginine concentrations increased significantly in patients receiving intravenous glutamine dipeptide. At whole-body level, 91% of total citrulline turnover was derived from glutamine, whereas 49% of whole-body citrulline turnover was used for de novo synthesis of arginine. The kidneys were responsible for 75% of whole-body arginine production from citrulline.
Glutamine and citrulline are important sources for de novo arginine synthesis. The kidneys are the main production site for endogenous arginine. After comparison of these results with previous similar studies, our data suggest that an intravenous glutamine supplement doubles renal arginine production from citrulline. This trial was registered at www.trialregister.nl as NTR2914.