L-Glutamine and Physical Exercise Prevent Intestinal Inflammation and Oxidative Stress Without Improving Gastric Dysmotility in Rats with Ulcerative Colitis

Inflammation. 2021 Apr;44(2):617-632. doi: 10.1007/s10753-020-01361-3. Epub 2020 Oct 31.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of glutamine supplementation or exercise on gastric emptying and intestinal inflammation in rats with ulcerative colitis (UC). Strength exercise consisted of jump training 4 × 10 repetitions/5 days a week/8 weeks with progressive overload. Endurance exercise consisted of swimming without overload for a period of 1 h a day/5 days a week/8 weeks. Another group (sedentary) of animals was supplemented with L-glutamine (1 g/kg of body weight) orally for 8 weeks before induction of UC. Colitis was induced by intra-colonic administration of 1 mL of 4% acetic acid. We assessed gastric emptying, macroscopic and microscopic scoring, oxidative stress markers, and IL-1β, IL-6, and (TNF-α) levels. The UC significantly increased (p < 0.05) the gastric emptying compared with the saline control group. We observed a significantly decrease (p < 0.05) in body weight gain in UC rats compared with the control groups. Both exercise interventions and L-glutamine supplementation significantly prevented (p < 0.05) weight loss compared with the UC group. Strength and endurance exercises significantly prevented (p < 0.05) the increase of microscopic scores and oxidative stress (p < 0.05). L-glutamine supplementation in UC rats prevented hemorrhagic damage and improved oxidative stress markers (p < 0.05). Strength and endurance exercises and glutamine decreased the concentrations of inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α compared with the UC group (p < 0.05). Strength and endurance exercises and L-glutamine supplementation prevented intestinal inflammation and improved cytokines and oxidative stress levels without altering gastric dysmotility in rats with UC.

Keywords: L-glutamine; gastric emptying; intestinal inflammation; physical exercise; ulcerative colitis.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / metabolism
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / physiopathology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / therapy*
  • Colon / drug effects
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / pathology
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology
  • Glutamine / pharmacology
  • Glutamine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / methods*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss / drug effects
  • Weight Loss / physiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Glutamine