Renal amino acid metabolism during endotoxemia in the rat

M M Hallemeesch, D C Cobben, C H Dejong, P B Soeters, N E Deutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The kidney has an important function in the exchange of nitrogenous metabolites. Glutamine is the most important substrate for renal ammoniagenesis and thus plays a crucial role in acid-base homeostasis. Furthermore, the kidney is the main endogenous source for de novo arginine production from citrulline, which in turn is derived from intestinal glutamine metabolism. Sepsis is a condition in which glutamine availability is reduced, whereas the need for arginine biosynthesis may be increased. Limited bioavailability of glutamine may affect arginine synthesis, which may have consequences for nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. Therefore, we studied renal glutamine and arginine metabolism in a rat model of endotoxemia and related this to NO metabolism.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rats were subject to double hit endotoxemia, and control rats received 0.9% NaCl. Renal blood flow was measured using para-aminohippuric acid. Concentrations of plasma amino acids and nitrate were measured in the aorta and renal vein to calculate net renal uptake or release of amino acids and address NO production.

RESULTS: The arterial concentrations of glutamine and ammonia were not changed in endotoxemic rats. Although renal glutamine uptake was reduced, total renal ammonia production was not changed during endotoxemia. The arterial concentration of citrulline and renal citrulline uptake was not altered in endotoxin-treated rats, but renal arginine production was increased. However, no effect was observed on nitric oxide production.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the kidney has very important functions in the excretion of waste products and in interorgan metabolism, this study suggests that the kidney has a limited role in glutamine, arginine, and NO metabolism during late endotoxemia in rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000


  • Amino Acids
  • Animals
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Citrulline
  • Endotoxemia
  • Endotoxins
  • Escherichia coli
  • Glutamine
  • Kidney
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Male
  • Nitrates
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Oxygen
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Renal Circulation
  • p-Aminohippuric Acid
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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