Glutamine-enriched total parenteral nutrition enhances plasma glutathione in the resting state.J Surg Res. 1996 Feb 15; 61(1):35-8.JS
Glutathione (GSH) is the major intracellular antioxidant and is essential to normal cell function and replication. Cysteine and other thiol compounds have been considered rate-limiting for GSH biosynthesis, but recent studies have demonstrated that glutamine (GLN) becomes essential during metabolic stress to replete tissue GSH levels which have become depleted. To determine the role of GLN supplementation in the resting, nonstressed state, we studied three groups of Wistar rats. The animals were catheterized and randomly assigned to one of three groups; (1) chow ad libitum group receiving iv saline (control), (2) standard total parenteral nutrition (STA-TPN) group, and (3) glutamine-enriched TPN (GLN-TPN) group. The intravenously fed animals received no rat chow. The infusions were administered at a rate of 2.2 ml/hr for 4 days and all animals were harvested on the fifth day of study. The GLN-TPN group had a significantly higher plasma GSH level than STA-TPN or control animals (P < 0.01). The hepatic concentration of GSH and the oxidized GSH/reduced GSH were similar in all groups. GLN-TPN had a significantly lower plasma ALT level than the control group (P < 0.05). The control group had a significantly higher ALP level than STA-TPN and GLN-TPN animals (P < 0.01). There were no significant differences in other measures of hepatic functions among the three groups. Our data demonstrate that in this model GLN-enriched TPN enhances plasma GSH concentrations, while maintaining hepatic GSH stores. This suggests that GSH turnover is altered during glutamine-enriched TPN, which may explain how dietary GLN supplementation enhances tissue antioxidant capacity.