1. The effect of total parenteral nutrition with or without glutamine enrichment was studied in septic rats after 4 days of treatment.

2. Septic rats treated with glutamine-enriched total parenteral nutrition survived sepsis significantly better than other TPN-treated septic rats: the cumulative percentage of deaths over 4 days in septic rats treated with glutamine-enriched total parenteral nutrition was 25% compared with 55% in septic rats given total parenteral nutrition without glutamine and 70% in septic rats given glucose.

3. Glutamine-enriched total parenteral nutrition resulted in improved nitrogen balance in septic rats: the cumulative nitrogen balance over the 4 days of treatment was the least negative as compared with other groups of septic rats.

4. The rate of loss of intracellular glutamine in skeletal muscle was markedly decreased (P < 0.001) in response to glutamine-enriched total parenteral nutrition in septic rats.

5. The rate of protein synthesis was increased (21.2%) and the rate of protein degradation was decreased (35.5%) in response to glutamine-enriched total parenteral nutrition in septic rats.

6. It is concluded that the administration of glutamine-enriched total parenteral nutrition is beneficial to septic rats and possibly to septic patients.

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