Dietary glutamine enhances cytokine production by murine macrophages.


Wells SM, Kew S, Yaqoob P, Wallace FA






To examine the effects of dietary glutamine on cytokine production by macrophages, mice were fed for 2 wk on a control diet that included 200.0 g casein/kg providing 19.6 g glutamine/kg or a glutamine- enriched diet that provided 54.8 g glutamine/kg partly at the expense of casein. There were no differences in weight gain between animals fed the two diets. The plasma concentrations of a number of amino acids differed according to the diet fed; this variation largely reflected the variation in the levels of the different amino acids in the diets. Plasma glutamine concentration was not significantly affected by dietary glutamine level. The production of three cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1 beta, and interleukin-6, was greater for lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages from mice fed the glutamine-enriched diet. Thus, increasing the amount of glutamine in the murine diet enhances the ability of macrophages to respond to stimulation, at least in terms of cytokine production. These observations suggest that increasing the availability of glutamine orally could promote immune responses involving macrophage-derived cytokines.