Morlese, J.F.; Forrester, Terrence E.; Del Rosario, M.; Frazer, M.; Jahoor, Farook
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Metabolism Research Unit
Transferrin kinetics are altered in children with severe protein-energy malnutrition
Journal of Nutrition
Date of Publication
Undertakes to determine the following: 1) the kinetic changes responsible for the depletion and repletion of plasma transferrin (Tr) concentration in children with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM); 2) the role of infection in mediating these changes; and 3) whether plasma Tr concentration is related to body protein status. Measures plasma Tr concentration, and fractional (FSR) and absolute (ASR) Tr synthesis rates with the use of a constant intragastric infusion of 2H3-leucine in 14 children with PEM, at 2 d postadmission (study 1), 8 d postadmission when infections were under control (study 2), and at recovery (study 3). In studies 1 and 2, the children synthesized less Tr and had lower Tr concentrations compared with values at recovery. When infections were controlled, plasma Tr concentration rose, but Tr synthesis was unchanged. There were only fair correlations (P < 0. 05) between plasma Tr concentrations and indices of wasting. Concerning malnourished children, conclusions are: 1) changes in the Tr pool size are achieved mainly through changes in synthesis rate; 2) infections play a minor role in reducing the Tr pool through either changes in the rate of catabolism or loss from the intravascular space; and 3) Tr concentration is not a very good indicator of protein nutritional status....