Removal of infused amino acids by splanchnic and leg tissues in humans

R. A. Gelfand, M. G. Glickman, R. Jacob, R. S. Sherwin, R. A. DeFronzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


To compare the contributions of splanchnic and skeletal muscle tissues to the disposal of intravenously administered amino acids, regional amino acid exchange was measured across the splanchnic bed and leg in 11 normal volunteers. Postabsorptively, net release of amino acids by leg (largely alanine and glutamine) was complemented by the net splanchnic uptake of amino acids. Amino acid infusion via peripheral vein (0.2 g ·kg-1 ·h-1) caused a doubling of plasma insulin and glucagon levels and a threefold rise in blood amino acid concentrations. Both splanchnic and leg tissue showed significant uptake of infused amino acids. Splanchnic tissues accounted for ~ 70% of the total body amino acid nitrogen disposal; splanchnic uptake was greatest for the glucogenic amino acids but also included significant quantities of branched-chain amino acids. In contrast, leg amino acid uptake was dominated by the branched-chain amino acids. Based on the measured leg balance, body skeletal muscle was estimated to remove ~ 25-30% of the total infused amino acid load and ~ 65-70% of the infused branched-chain amino acids. Amino acids infusion significantly stimulated both the leg efflux and the splanchnic uptake of glutamine (not contained in the infusate). We conclude that when amino acids are infused peripherally in normal humans, splanchnic viscera (liver and gut) are the major sites of amino acid disposal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13/4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 24 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Removal of infused amino acids by splanchnic and leg tissues in humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this