In this study the influence of a severe catabolic situation (scalding and nitrogen deprivation) on amino acid (AA) metabolism was investigated in an experimental rat model. Scalding of 25 per cent of the total body surface area (TBSA) and hypocaloric alimentation (5-6 kcal per 100g rat per day, no nitrogen) resulted in mean daily nitrogen losses of -0·27±0·3 g. Compared to anabolic growing rats this nitrogen catabolism significantly reduced the total free AA content of muscle (-47 per cent, P<0·001) and liver (-39 per cent, P<0·001). The total plasma AA concentrations were slightly increased in catabolic rats (+10 per cent). In catabolic rats muscle glycine concentrations dropped significantly (-79 per cent, P<0·001), while glutamine concentrations decreased by 22 per cent, which was not significant. Branched chain AA and phenylalanine were significantly elevated both in muscle and in plasma. Scalding and nitrogen depletion in rats leads to characteristic changes in plasma, muscle and liver AA concentrations, which are comparable to the results obtained in catabolic patients. However, the low muscle glycine concentrations in burned rats differ from the clinical observations where glutamine rather than glycine concentrations in muscle tissue are reduced. The rat model seems to be well suited for studying the influence of various therapeutic approaches such as different forms of parenteral nutrition or hormonal substitution on nitrogen catabolism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine