Effect of glutamine on gut glutathione fractional release in the implanted tumor model

Yihong Kaufmann, V. Suzanne Klimberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Cancer and its treatments cause a marked depletion of glutamine (GLN). However, dietary GLN can restore this loss and improve the outcomes of the treatments. The reasons behind this need to be investigated. GLN is suggested to involve in glutathione (GSH) synthesis. Fast-growing tumors alter gut GLN metabolism, but the effect of tumor growth on gut GSH release remains unknown. We hypothesized that gut GSH release would decrease in the tumor-bearing host and this downregulation would be antagonized by supplemental GLN. Female Fisher-344 rats were randomized to the groups: GLN + TUMOR, Freamine (FA) + TUMOR, GLN + SHAM, and FA + SHAM. The rats were implanted with MTF-7 mammary tumors as tumor-bearing groups, whereas the rats were sham operated as control groups. The rats were pair fed chow, gavaged with 1 g/kg/day GLN or an isonitrogenous FA. Tumor growth, blood and gut mucosa GLN, glutamate, and/or GSH were measured. The gut extractions, defined as the difference of concentrations across the gut, were calculated. Supplemental GLN enhanced the gut GLN uptake and GSH release with tumor growth and significantly increased blood and gut mucosa GLN and/or GSH concentrations. Our results demonstrate the important antioxidant role of GLN and thus may have significant implications in nutritional immune modulation in cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


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