To evaluate the effects of postburn dietary supplementation of arginine (Arg), omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (omega-3PUFA) and glutamine (Glu) on the metabolism, immunology and wound healing in scalded rats.

Thirty Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats inflicted with 30% total body surface area deep partial thickness scald on the back after the gastrostomy catheter was placed were employed as the model. The rats were randomly divided into A and B groups, and all of them received continuous isonitrogenous (25% protein, 12% fat, 63% carbohydrate), isocaloric (175 kcal/kg/day), and isovolemic intragastric tube feedings. The contents of Arg, omega-3PUFA, Glu in the dietary of B group were enriched. The parameters were measured on the 10th day after injury, including the response of spleen cells to ConA, the plasma levels of PGE(2), IL-2, albumin, transferrin, glucagons, cortisol in blood, the urinary content of vanillylmandelic acid (VAM) in 24-hour urine, the content of hydroxyproline, the ratio of type I to type III collagen in burn wounds, and the nitrogen content in the liver and in the jejunal mucosa, as well as the weight changes, skin delayed hypersensitivity test, and wound healing time.

It was revealed that the serum level of albumin, the nitrogen content in the liver and in the jejunal mucosa were obviously higher in B than those in A group. At the same time, there was no statistical difference in the plasma levels of cortisol and glucagons and urinary content of VAM between the two groups, nor in body weight changes. Meanwhile, the response of spleen cells to ConA and the skin delayed hypersensitivity induced by DNFB 14 days after injury in group B were also enhanced compared with those in group A. Although the expression of PGE2 from peritoneal macrophages was lower, the content of hydroxyproline from burn wounds in group B was significantly higher than that in group A, and the ratio of type l to type III collagen in group B was significantly lower than that in group A. Compared with group A, the wound healing time in group B was significantly shortened (P < 0.05).

The low-fat and high-protein feeding diet with enriched arginine, omega-3 PUFA, glutamine could benefit the nutritional status after burn injury, thus improve the immunological function and promote wound healing.