Alanyl-glutamine hastens morphologic recovery from 5-fluorouracil-induced mucositis in mice

Benedito A. Carneiro-Filho, Reinaldo B. Oriá, Katie Wood Rea, Gerly A C Brito, Jun Fujii, Tom Obrig, Aldo A M Lima, Richard L. Guerrant*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objective In this study, we postulated the beneficial role of oral alanyl-glutamine, a more stable glutamine derivative to decrease 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-induced mucositis in mice. Methods We measured different morphologic parameters to assess structural changes over time in the small bowel, including crypt depth, villus height, villus area, mitotic and apoptotic indices at the crypt level using terminal deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling, and hematoxylin-eosin staining of ileal tissue. In addition, we analyzed the effect of different alanyl-glutamine concentrations on animal weight curves after 5-FU treatment. Results Neither glutamine nor alanyl- glutamine prevented the 5-FU intestinal structural damage or apoptosis in crypt enterocytes at 24 h after 5-FU challenge. However, we found that alanyl-glutamine, but not glutamine, speeds intestinal recovery when compared with 5-FU-treated controls (P < 0.05), predominantly by enhancing mitotic activity and crypt length. Conclusion Our findings provide important data to support clinical studies of oral alanyl-glutamine in 5-FU-induced mucositis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-941
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • alanyl-glutamine
  • chemotherapy
  • glutamine
  • mucositis
  • small intestine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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