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Immunomodulatory Effects of Ornithine α-Ketoglutarate in Rats With Burn Injuries

Monique Roch-Arveiller, PhD; Michèle Tissot, PhD; Colette Coudray-Lucas, PhD; Jeanine Fontagné, PhD; Jacques Le Boucher; Jean-Paul Giroud, PhD; Luc Cynober, PhD
Arch Surg. 1996;131(7):718-723. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430190040011.
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Objective:  To investigate the influence of enterally administered ornithine α-ketoglutarate (OKG) on muscular amino acid content, eicosanoid release, and polymorphonuclear leukocyte responsiveness after induction of burn injury in rats.

Design:  Experimental trial.

Materials and Methods:  Four groups of rats were considered: (1) healthy rats that received a standard diet supplemented with 5 g/kg per day of OKG; (2) rats with burn injuries that received the same nutrition as group 1; (3) healthy rats that received a standard diet supplemented with glycine in an isonitrogenous amount relative to OKG; and (4) rats with burn injuries that received the same nutrition as group 3. The thymus and I skeletal muscle were weighed. The oxidative metabolism of pleural polymorphonuclear leukocytes was measured by means of superoxide generation (O2−) and the chemiluminescent response to opsonized zymosan. Prostaglandin E2 and 6-keto-prostaglandin F were measured in the supernatants of pleural and peritoneal cells.

Results:  The weights of the thymus and the muscle from healthy rats were similar. Those of rats from group 4 were significantly lower (P<.05), whereas those of rats from group 2 were not. Metabolism of OKG led to enhanced amounts of arginine and glutamine in skeletal muscle. The metabolic bursts of polymorphonuclear leukocytes from healthy rats were similar. Those of glycine-treated rats with bum injuries were significantly depressed (P<.05), whereas those of the OKG-treated group were not. Pleural and peritoneal cells from the rats with burn injuries that received OKG generated significantly more prostaglandins (P<.01) than did cells from the other groups of rats.

Conclusion:  Ornithine α-ketoglutarate administered to rats with burn injuries displays immunomodulatory properties that can enhance host-defense mechanisms in animals that are affected by a severe injury.Arch Surg. 1996;131:718-723

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