The liver is the main organ responsible for bacterial and endotoxin clearance. Pyroptosis is a form of proinflammatory programmed cell death activated by caspase-1/11 and gasdermin D (GadD). Pyroptosis protects the host against bacterial infection; however, overactive pyroptosis can lead to organ injury. Glutamine (GLN) is a specific amino acid with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. This study investigated the effects of GLN pretreatment on liver pyroptosis in a mouse model of polymicrobial sepsis. Mice were assigned to sham, sepsis control (Sepsis-C), and sepsis GLN (Sepsis-G) groups. The sham and Sepsis-C groups were fed the AIN-93G diet. The Sepsis-G group was provided with identical diet components except that part of the casein was replaced by GLN. After feeding the respective diets for 2 weeks, a cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) procedure was performed in the sepsis groups. An antibiotic was administered after CLP. Mice were sacrificed at either 24 or 72 h after CLP. The results showed that sepsis resulted in upregulated liver caspase-1/11 expression. Compared to the Sepsis-C group, the Sepsis-G group had higher liver caspase-11 and NLRP3 gene expressions at 24 h and lower active caspase-1/11 and cleaved GadD protein levels at 72 h after sepsis. Additionally, liver inflammatory cytokine gene expressions had decreased by 72 h post-CLP. The findings suggest that prophylactic administration of GLN initially upregulated liver pyroptosis to eradicate pathogens, yet the process of pyroptosis was suppressed in the late phase of sepsis. This may have beneficially attenuated liver inflammation and injury in an antibiotic-treated septic condition.
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