Leucine supplementation has an anabolic effect on proteins in rabbit skin wound and muscle

J Nutr. 2004 Dec;134(12):3313-8. doi: 10.1093/jn/134.12.3313.


We investigated the effect of leucine supplementation on protein metabolism in skin wounds and muscle in anesthetized rabbits. l-[ring-(13)C(6)]phenylalanine was infused on d 7 after the ear was scalded, and the scalded ear and uninjured hindlimb were used as arteriovenous units to reflect protein kinetics in skin wounds and muscle. In comparison with a commercially available amino acid solution (10% Travasol), isonitrogenous [1638 micromol/(kg . h)] infusion of the amino acid solution with supplemental leucine to account for 35% of total nitrogen increased the net phenylalanine balance (P < 0.05) in the skin wound and muscle from -6.7 +/- 6.1 to 0.9 +/- 1.4 and from -4.4 +/- 2.4 to -1.0 +/- 0.4 micromol/(100 g . h), respectively. Infusion of leucine alone did not significantly improve the net phenylalanine balance in either skin wounds [-4.0 +/- 4.6 micromol/(100 g . h)] or muscle [-2.7 +/- 0.7 micromol/(100 g . h)]. We conclude that leucine supplementation had an anabolic effect on proteins in skin wounds and muscle, provided that adequate additional amino acids were also available.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Animals
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Leucine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Models, Animal
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Rabbits
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Wounds and Injuries / metabolism*


  • Amino Acids
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Leucine