Effect of arginine supplementation on T-lymphocyte function in burn patients






Chung Hua Cheng Hsing Shao Shang Wai Ko Tsa Chih


It is well accepted that nutritional support improves the immunologic functions in burn patients. Arginine has been demonstrated to have tissue--specific properties which influence certain components of the immune system. A series of experiments were carried out in this study, in order to evaluate the immune effect of arginine on T lymphocyte functions in burn patients. Two groups of burn patients with comparable clinical protocol receiving same nutritional administration except the amount of arginine in the nutrients were studied. In one group, 2% of energy supplied by arginine was added in their nutrients, while, the control group received 2% of energy from amino acid compounds instead. The T lymphocyte immune parameters were determined on days 3, 7, 14, 21 and 28 postburn. The data showed that the 2% of total energy supplied by arginine was found to significantly enhance the T lymphocyte response to PHA, CD4 phenotype expression, CD4/CD8 ratio, IL-2 production and IL-2 receptor expression, as compared with the control group. It suggests arginine should become one of the most important nutrients supplied to burn patients.