l-Glutamine administration reduces oxidized glutathione and MAP kinase signaling in dystrophic muscle of mdx mice

Elise Mok, Bruno Constantin, Frédéric Favreau, Nathalie Neveux, Christophe Magaud, Adriana Delwail, Régis Hankard
Pediatric Research 2008, 63 (3): 268-73
To determine whether glutamine (Gln) reduces the ratio of oxidized to total glutathione (GSSG/GSH) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) activation in dystrophic muscle. Four-week old mdx mice, an animal model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and control (C57BL/10) received daily intraperitoneal injections of l-Gln (500 mg/kg/d) or 0.9% NaCl for 3 d. GSH and GSSG concentrations in gastrocnemius were measured using a standard enzymatic recycling procedure. Free amino acid concentrations in gastrocnemius were determined by ion exchange chromatography. Phosphorylated protein levels of ERK1/2 in quadriceps were examined using Western Blot. l-Gln decreased GSSG and GSSG/GSH (an indicator of oxidative stress). This was associated with decreased ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Muscle free Gln, glutamate (Glu), and the sum (Gln + Glu) were higher in mdx versus C57BL/10, at the basal level. Exogenous Gln decreased muscle free Glu and Gln + Glu in mdx only, whereas Gln was not affected. In conclusion, exogenous Gln reduces GSSG/GSH and ERK1/2 activation in dystrophic skeletal muscle of young mdx mice, which is associated with decreased muscle free Glu and Gln + Glu. This antioxidant protective mechanism provides a molecular basis for Gln's antiproteolytic effect in Duchenne muscular dystrophy children.

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