L-glutamine Supplementations Enhance Liver Glutamine-Glutathione Axis and Heat Shock Factor-1 Expression in Endurance-Exercise Trained Rats

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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Liver L-glutamine is an important vehicle for the transport of ammonia and intermediary metabolism of amino acids between tissues, particularly under catabolic situations, such as high-intensity exercise. Hence, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of oral supplementations with L-glutamine in its free or dipeptide forms (with L-alanine) on liver glutamine-glutathione (GSH) axis, and 70 kDa heat shock proteins (HSP70)/heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) expressions. Adult male Wistar rats were 8-week trained (60 min/day, 5 days/week) on a treadmill. During the last 21 days, the animals were daily supplemented with 1 g of L-glutamine/kg body weight per day in either l-alanyl-L-glutamine dipeptide (DIP) form or a solution containing L-glutamine and l-alanine in their free forms (GLN+ALA) or water (controls). Exercise training increased cytosolic and nuclear HSF1 and HSP70 expression, as compared with sedentary animals. However, both DIP and GLN+ALA supplements enhanced HSF1 expression (in both cytosolic and nuclear fractions) in relation to exercised controls. Interestingly, HSF1 rises were not followed by enhanced HSP70 expression. DIP and GLN+ALA supplements increased plasma glutamine concentrations (by 62% and 59%, respectively) and glutamine to glutamate plasma ratio in relation to trained controls. This was in parallel with a decrease in plasma ammonium levels. Supplementations increased liver GSH (by 90%), attenuating the glutathione disulfide (GSSG) to GSH ratio, suggesting a redox state protection. In conclusion, oral administration with DIP and GLN+ALA supplements in endurance-trained rats improve liver glutamine-GSH axis and modulate HSF1 pathway.

Petry, Cruzat, and Tirapegui are from Dept. of Food Science and Experimental Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Cruzat is also from School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI), Biosciences Research Precinct, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. Heck is from the University of the Northwest of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. De Bittencourt is from the Dept. of Physiology, Institute of Basic Health Sciences, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Address author correspondence to Vinicius Fernandes Cruzat at vinifc@usp.br.