PMID: 7931704Oct 1, 1994Paper

Dietary citrulline but not ornithine counteracts dietary arginine deficiency in rats by increasing splanchnic release of citrulline

The Journal of Nutrition
W J HartmanR L Prior


Ornithine and citrulline have different arginine-sparing capabilities when provided in an arginine-deficient diet. Rats were fed arginine-deficient diets containing ornithine or citrulline to see the effect on net fluxes of free arginine, ornithine and citrulline across the portal-drained viscera (PDV) and liver. The diets contained either 10 g arginine/kg diet (+Arg) or no arginine: the -Arg/+Ala diet contained additional alanine and the -Arg/+Orn and -Arg/+Cit diets contained ornithine and citrulline, respectively, in amounts isomolar to the amount of arginine in the control (+Arg) diet. Blood arginine concentrations were 50% lower than control values (P < 0.001) in rats fed the -Arg/+Ala or the -Arg/+Orn diet. However, addition of citrulline to the arginine-deficient diet restored blood arginine concentrations. The source of the circulating arginine in the rats fed the -Arg/+Cit diet was neither the PDV nor the liver; net splanchnic uptake of arginine was 0.3 mumol/min. Net citrulline release was substantial from the PDV (0.65 mumol/min) as well as from the splanchnic bed (0.67 mumol/min) of rats fed the -Arg/+Cit diet, such that blood citrulline concentrations were more than double (P < 0.001) those in rats fed the +Arg or ...Continue Reading


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