Effects of flooding amino acids on incorporation of labeled amino acids into human muscle protein

Am J Physiol. 1998 Jul;275(1):E73-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1998.275.1.E73.


We investigated the effects of the nature of the flooding amino acid on the rate of incorporation of tracer leucine into human skeletal muscle sampled by biopsy. Twenty-three healthy young men (24.5 +/- 5. 0 yr, 76.2 +/- 8.3 kg) were studied in groups of four or five. First, the effects of flooding with phenylalanine, threonine, or arginine (all at 0.05 g/kg body wt) on the incorporation of tracer [13C]leucine were studied. Then the effects of flooding with labeled [13C]glycine [0.1 g/kg body wt, 20 atoms percent excess (APE)] and [13C]serine (0.05 g/kg body wt, 15 APE) on the incorporation of simultaneously infused [13C]leucine were investigated. When a large dose of phenylalanine or threonine was administered, incorporation of the tracer leucine was significantly increased (from 0.036 to 0. 067 %/h and 0.037 to 0.070 %/h, respectively; each P < 0.01). However, when arginine, glycine, or serine was administered as a flooding dose, no stimulation of tracer leucine incorporation could be observed. These results, together with those previously obtained, suggest that large doses of individual essential, but not nonessential, amino acids are able to stimulate incorporation of constantly infused tracer amino acids into human muscle protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Arginine / metabolism
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Glycine / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Leucine / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Phenylalanine / metabolism
  • Serine / metabolism*
  • Threonine / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Amino Acids
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Threonine
  • Serine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Arginine
  • Leucine
  • Glycine