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Malnutrition and its relationship with the recovery of enzymatic activity in rat thymus

, : Malnutrition and its relationship with the recovery of enzymatic activity in rat thymus. Journal of Nutritional Immunology 5(2): 3-8

It is known that the thymus is severely affected by nutritional deficiency. Adenosine deaminase (ADA) and Purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) are thought to be important for normal lymphocyte development. The present paper studies the effect on the activity of these thymic enzymes in growing rats after severe protein deprivation and the posterior oral administration of a 20% dietary protein during a short period of time. Statistical differences in the activity of ADA and PNP were observed in severely protein-deprived rats (PFG) when compared to their respective age-matched control (C38) (17.0 +- 2.6 vs. 9.0 +- 4.0; 11.5 +- 4.2 vs. 4.1 +- 1.3, respectively). After 9 days of refeeding with a 20% casein diet (R), activity of ADA and PNP decreased significantly when compared to PFG. No statistical differences in ADA and PNP were observed between R and its control C47 (7.4 +- 2.5 vs. 9.3 +- 1.8; 3.6 +- 0.5 vs. 3.9 +- 0.6, respectively). The results suggest that the refeeding with a 20% protein diet over 9 days is enough to reverse the damage produced by severe protein malnutrition on ADA and PNP activities.

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