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.