Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 8, Issue 3&4,2010
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Glutamine and animal immune function


Fungui Yin , Weiming Jiang 2§ , Shu Guan 3, Zhizhong Pan 2, Xiuli Chen 2, Xiaohang Chen 2*

Recieved Date: 2010-08-04, Accepted Date: 2010-11-11


This review will attempt to summarize literatures of the relationship between glutamine (Gln) and the host’s immune function. It will expatiate the connotation of Gln as a “nutritional drug” with many important biochemical roles. The clinical recommendations with regard to patients and experimental animals may benefit from different supplying route of Gln. Scientific studies indicate that Gln, traditionally considered a nonessential amino acid, now is considered “conditionally essential” after critical illness, stress and injury. States of illness or injury can lead to a significant decrease in plasma levels of Gln and when this decrease is severe, it has been correlated with increased mortality. Researches have demonstrated numerous benefits of gln in experimental models of critical illness, burn and cardiac injury. The mechanism of these protective effects includes attenuated pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, improved gut barrier function, enhanced ability to mount a stress response, improved immune cell function and decreased mortality. Clinical trials of gln supplementation in critical illness, surgical stress and cancer have shown benefit with regard to mortality, length of stay and infectious morbidity. However, literatures demonstrating a lack of benefit with Gln supplementation in some patients have been presented as well. No evidence of harm has been observed in studies conducted to reported literatures; thus, further clinical trials using Gln as a pharmacological supplement to “nutritional drug” are warranted.


Glutamine, immune function, immune cells, cytokines

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2010
Volume: 8
Issue: 3&4
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 135-141

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