Effect of a flooding dose of leucine in stimulating incorporation of constantly infused valine into albumin

K. Smith, S. Downie, J. M. Barua, P. W. Watt, C. M. Scrimgeour, M. J. Rennie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Recently, we demonstrated increased incorporation of [13C]valine tracer into muscle protein after administration of a flooding dose of L-leucine. We have now investigated the possibility of a similar effect on albumin synthesis in the same group of volunteers. We gave L-[1-13C]leucine (20 atom%, 0.05 g/kg) during the final 90 min of a 7.5-h primed constant infusion of L-[1-13C]valine (99 atom%, 1.5 mg/kg prime constant infusion of 1.5 mg · kg-1 · h-1) in healthy male volunteers in the postabsorptive state. Blood samples, taken at 0.5- to 1-h intervals during the constant infusion and at 5- to 30-min intervals during the application of the flooding dose, were analyzed for the concentration and 13C enrichment of leucine, valine, and their ketoacids. Albumin was isolated and hydrolyzed, and the enrichments of incorporated valine and leucine were compared with the mean enrichment of various possible precursor pools to calculate the apparent rate of albumin protein synthesis according to the standard procedures. During constant infusion of [13C]valine tracer the rate of albumin synthesis (measured using α-ketoisovalerate labeling as a surrogate for the true precursor) was 0.250 ± 0.041%h (SD), a value identical to that routinely obtained using constant leucine tracer infusion and α-ketoisocaproate labeling. During the application of the flooding dose of leucine, the rate of incorporation of tracer [13C]valine into albumin increased by 73% to 0.433 ± 0.129%/h (P < 0.05); the apparent protein synthetic rate calculated from the incorporation of leucine applied during the flood was 0.402 ± 0.057 (P < 0.001). These results raise further doubts about the validity of the flooding dose method for the measurement of rates of human protein synthesis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994


    • albumin
    • human
    • methodology
    • protein synthesis


    Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of a flooding dose of leucine in stimulating incorporation of constantly infused valine into albumin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this