Arginine requirement of mature protein-malnourished rats for maximal rate of repletion

F. W. Kari, E. A. Ulman, A. L. Mulloy, W. J. Visek

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3 Scopus citations


Male Sprague-Dawley rats (initial weight 400 g) were fed a 0.5% lactalbumin diet containing required amounts of all other known essential nutrients for 14 weeks. The body weights averaged 250 g after depletion when the animals were randomly assigned to four groups of four or five. Rats of one group were killed for baseline analyses on day 0 of repletion. The remaining three groups were repleted for 14 days with a complete L-amino acid diet containing 20% protein equivalent and 0, 0.75 or 1.5% Arg . HCl. Daily feed intakes averaged 11, 15 and 17 g and daily weight gains were 3.3, 7.4 and 8.3 g, respectively. Average values for corresponding groups were: nitrogen balance - 116, 187 and 190 mg/day; urinary orotate - 4.6, 0.8 and 0.15 mg/day; carcass lipid - 27, 37 and 40 g/100 g dry matter. Liver weights per 100 g body weight for 0 arginine exceeded other groups by 40%. There were no differences in creatinine index, nor in plasma concentrations of insulin, glucagon and albumin. The maximal rate of recovery from protein-calorie malnutrition of mature rats required an exogenous source of arginine. Urinary orotic acid excretion provided a reliable measure for determining when arginine needs for maximal rate of repletion were not met.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1489-1493
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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