Burn injury accelerates hepatic amino acid metabolism, but the role of transmembrane substrate delivery in this response has not been investigated. We therefore studied the effects of cutaneous scald injury on the Na+-dependent transport of glutamine and alanine in isolated rat liver plasma membrane vesicles. Scald injury resulted in liver damage and a 1.4- to 2.3-fold and 1.5- to 2.8-fold stimulation of hepatic transport rates for glutamine and alanine, respectively, proportional to the total burned surface area (TBSA) after 24 hours. Enhanced uptake of glutamine and alanine was attributable to increases in the maximum velocity (Vmax) of system N and system A activities, respectively. Hepatic amino acid transport activity remained elevated in vesicles from burned animals after 72 hours, but the degree of stimulation (1.3- to 1.7-fold for glutamine and 1.3- to 1.6-fold for alanine) was less than that observed 24 hours after thermal injury. Liver function tests returned to control values after 72 hours as well, indicating rectification of hepatic damage. In contrast to the induction of hepatic system A and system N activity in catabolic states such as cancer and endotoxemia, further studies showed that tumor necrosis factor (TNF) failed to play a significant role in burn-stimulated amino acid transport rates. When combined with plasma liver enzyme profiles, early transient hepatic amino acid transporter stimulation may support amino acid-dependent pathways involved in the repair of burn-dependent hepatic damage.