Glutamine and leucine administration attenuates muscle atrophy in sepsis

Yu Chen Hou, Jin Ming Wu, Kuen Yuan Chen, Ming Hsun Wu, Po Jen Yang, Po Chu Lee, Po Da Chen, Sung Ling Yeh, Ming Tsan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: This study investigated whether L-glutamine (Gln) and/or L-leucine (Leu) administration could attenuate muscle atrophy in a mouse model of cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis. Materials and methods: Septic mice were given a daily intraperitoneal injection of Gln, Leu, or Gln plus Leu, and mice were sacrificed on either day 1 or 4 after CLP. Blood and muscles were collected for analysis of amino acid contents and markers related to protein degradation, muscle regeneration, and protein synthesis. Key findings: Leu treatment alone increased both muscle mass and total muscle protein content on day 4 after CLP. Gln administration reduced muscular Gln contents on day 1 and enhanced plasma Gln levels on day 4. Higher plasma branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) abundances and lower muscular BCAA levels were observed in Leu-treated mice on day 4. Gln and Leu individually suppressed muscle expressions of the E3 ubiquitin ligase genes, Trim63 and Fbxo32, on day 4 after CLP. As to muscle expressions of myogenic genes, both Gln and Leu upregulated Myog expression on day 1, but Leu alone enhanced Myf5 gene expression, whereas Gln plus Leu increased MyoD and Myog expression levels on day 4. Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling was only activated by Gln and Leu when individually administered. Significance: Gln and/or Leu administration reduces sepsis-induced muscle degradation and promotes myogenic gene expressions. Leu treatment alone had more-pronounced effects on maintaining muscle mass during sepsis. A combination of Gln and Leu failed to show synergistic effects on alleviating sepsis-induced muscle atrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121327
JournalLife Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Branched-chain amino acid
  • Cecal ligation and puncture
  • E3 ubiquitin ligase
  • mTOR
  • Myogenic regulatory factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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