Reid, Marvin E.; Badaloo, Asha V.; Forrester, Terrence E. ; Morlese, John F.; Frazer, Margaret; Heird, William C.; Jahoor, Farook
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Medicine Research Institute
In vivo rates of erythrocyte glutathione synthesis in children with severe protein-energy malnutrition
American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism
Date of Publication
Although the compromised GSH status of children with edematous protein- energy malnutrition (PEM) has been documented, the in vivo kinetic mechanism(s) responsible for this is not known. To determine if decreased synthesis contributes to the alteration of GSH homeostasis, the fractional and absolute rates of synthesis of erythrocyte GSH were determined shortly after admission (study 1), approximately 9 days postadmission (study 2), and at recovery (study 3) in seven children with edematous PEM and seven children with nonedematous PEM. Children with edematous PEM had significantly lower erythrocyte GSH and slower absolute rates of GSH synthesis than children with nonedematous PEM both shortly after admission, when they were both malnourished and infected, and approximately 9 days later, when the infection had resolved but they were still malnourished. At these times, the edematous group also had significantly lower erythrocyte GSH concentrations and absolute rates of synthesis than at recovery. Plasma and erythrocyte-free cysteine concentrations of the edematous group were significantly lower at studies 1 and 2 than at recovery. In contrast, erythrocyte GSH concentrations, rates of GSH synthesis, and plasma and erythrocyte free cysteine concentrations of the nonedematous group were similar at all three time points and greater at studies 1 and 2 than in the edematous group. These results confirm that GSH deficiency is characteristic of edematous PEM and suggest that this is due to a reduced rate of synthesis secondary to a shortage in cysteine.....