Thymic Stimulatory Actions of Arginine

Adrian Barbul, Hannah L. Wasserkrug, Donato A. Sisto, Eli Seifter, Giuseppe Rettura, Stanley M. Levenson, Gershon Efron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Various arginine HC1 supplements (0.5-3%), half added to a basal commercial rodent chow (1.8% arginine) and half to the drinking water, were given to 8- to 9-week-old male CBA/J mice for 6 days. Control animals were fed the basal chow and drank tap water. All mice ate and drank ad libitum. Weight gain and food intake were similar in all groups. All arginine supplements increased significantly: Thymic weight (average 22%), thymic lymphocyte content (average 45%), and the in vitro reactivity of thymic lymphocytes judged by the incorporation of 3H-leucine into the TCA-precipitable protein fraction in response to stimulation by phytohemagglutinin and concanavalin A. All these thymic effects resulted from the 0.5% arginine hydrochloride supplement; further increases in arginine supplementation did not increase these effects. These data suggest that supplemental arginine may improve host defence mechanisms and thereby may play an important role in the care of severely injured or ill patients, since it is well established that their defense mechanisms are reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-449
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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