Effect of specific amino acid groups on renal hemodynamics in humans

Pietro Castellino, Robert Levin, Joseph Shohat, Ralph A. DeFronzo

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42 Scopus citations


The effect of specific amino acid groups on renal hemodynamics was examined in seven healthy young volunteers. Each subject received a 3-h intravenous infusion according to one of the following protocols: study 1, gluconeogenic amino acids (Arg, Gly, Pro, Cys, Met, Ser); study 2, alanine alone; study 3, branched-chain amino acids (BCAA, Leu, Ile, Val); or study 4, 0.9% saline. The rise (40-60% above base line) in total plasma amino acid concentration was similar in studies 1-3; no change was observed in study 4. During study 1, glomerular filtration rate (GFR) rose by 16% (from 98 ± 6 to 114 ± 8 ml · 1.73 m-2 · min-1, P < 0.01), and renal plasma flow (RPF) rose by 28% (from 496 ± 47 to 638 ± 70 ml · 1.73 m-2 · min-1, P < 0.01). After alanine (study 2) and BCAA (study 3) infusion, there was a slight, although not significant, rise in GFR and RPF; during saline infusion (study 4), GFR and RPF remained unchanged. Plasma insulin and growth hormone did not change significantly in any study protocol. Plasma glucagon rose significantly by 30% in study 1 (from 117 ± 10 to 151 ± 13 pg/ml, P < 0.05) but did not change in studies 2-4. In summary, infusion of mixed gluconeogenic amino acids increases both GFR and RPF, and neither alanine nor BCAA infusion caused a consistent alteration in renal hemodynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F992-F997
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology
Issue number4 27-4
StatePublished - Apr 1990


  • Amino acids
  • Glomerular filtration rate
  • Glucagon
  • Renal plasma flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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