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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2012;5(7):651-659

Original Article
Effects of glutamine treatment on myocardial damage and cardiac function in rats after
severe burn injury

Hong Yan*, Yong Zhang*, Shang-jun Lv, Lin Wang, Guang-ping Liang, Qian-xue Wan, Xi Peng

State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury, Institute of Burns of PLA, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University,
Chongqing 400038, PR China. *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Received July 25, 2012; Accepted Augest 5, 2012; Epub September 5, 2012; Published September 15, 2012

Abstract: Treatment with glutamine has been shown to reduce myocardial damage associated with ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, the
cardioprotective effect of glutamine specifically after burn injury remains unclear. The present study explores the ability of glutamine to protect
against myocardial damage in rats that have been severely burned. Seventy-two Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups: normal
controls (C), burned controls (B) and a glutamine-treated group (G). Groups B and G were subjected to full thickness burns comprising 30% of
total body surface area. Group G was administered 1.5 g/ (kg•d) glutamine and group B was given the same dose of alanine via intragastric
administration for 3 days. Levels of serum creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate transaminase (AST) and blood lactic
acid were measured, as well as myocardial ATP and glutathione (GSH) contents. Cardiac function indices and histopathological changes were
analyzed at 12, 24, 48 and 72 post-burn hours. In both burned groups, levels of serum CK, LDH, AST and blood lactic acid increased
significantly, while myocardial ATP and GSH contents decreased. Compared with group B, CK, LDH, and AST levels were lower and blood
lactic acid, myocardial ATP and GSH levels were higher in group G. Moreover, cardiac contractile function inhibition and myocardial
histopathological damage were significantly reduced in group G compared to B. Taken together, these results show that glutamine
supplementation protects myocardial structure and function after burn injury by improving energy metabolism and by promotedthe synthesis of
ATP and GSH in cardiac myocytes. (IJCEP1207022).

Keywords: Burn injury, glutamine, myocardial damage, energy metabolism, GSH, rat


Address all correspondence to:
Dr. Xi Peng
State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury
Institute of Burns of PLA, Southwest Hospital
Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038
PR China.
E-mail: pxlrmm@tmmu.edu.cn OR: pxlrmm@163.com