The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of glutamine supplementation on inflammatory responses in chronic ethanol-fed rats. Male Wistar rats weighing about 160 g were divided into five groups. Two groups were fed a normal liquid diet and three groups were fed a glutamine-containing liquid diet. After 1 week, one of the normal liquid diet groups was fed an ethanol-containing liquid diet (CE), and the other group served as the control (CC) group. At the same time, one of the glutamine-containing liquid diet groups was continually fed the same diet (GCG), but the other two groups were fed ethanol-containing diet supplemented with glutamine (GEG) or without glutamine (GE). The following items were analyzed: (1) liver function, (2) cytokine contents, and (3) hepatic oxidative stress. The activities of aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) and levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β in the CE group had significantly increased. In addition, hepatic cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) expression had significantly increased in the CE, GE and GEG groups. However, the activities of AST and ALT and levels of TNF-α and IL-1β in the GE group were significantly lower than those of the CE group. The results suggest that the plasma inflammatory responses of rats fed an ethanol-containing liquid diet for 7 weeks significantly increased. However, pretreatment with glutamine improved the plasma inflammatory responses induced by ethanol.
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