Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
On-line version ISSN 1414-431X
CURI, R. et al. Metabolic fate of glutamine in lymphocytes, macrophages and neutrophils. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 1999, vol.32, n.1, pp. 15-21. ISSN 1414-431X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X1999000100002.
Eric Newsholme's laboratory was the first to show glutamine utilization by lymphocytes and macrophages. Recently, we have found that neutrophils also utilize glutamine. This amino acid has been shown to play a role in lymphocyte proliferation, cytokine production by lymphocytes and macrophages and phagocytosis and superoxide production by macrophages and neutrophils. Knowledge of the metabolic fate of glutamine in these cells is important for the understanding of the role and function of this amino acid in the maintenance of the proliferative, phagocytic and secretory capacities of these cells. Glutamine and glucose are poorly oxidized by these cells and might produce important precursors for DNA, RNA, protein and lipid synthesis. The high rate of glutamine utilization and its importance in such cells have raised the question as to the source of this glutamine, which, according to current evidence, appears to be muscle.
Keywords : glutamine; lymphocytes; macrophages; neutrophils; metabolic fate.