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Oral administration of L-tryptophan in the morning affects phagocytosis and oxidative metabolism in heterophils of Streptopelia roseogrisea

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The amino acid tryptophan is the precursor of melatonin in the anabolic pathway of that immunomodulatory hormone. The present study shows the in vivo effect of tryptophan on the phagocytic function and the oxidative metabolism of immune cells of Streptopelia roseogrisea of less than one year in age. The tryptophan was administered orally (125 mg and 300 mg/kg b.w.) in the morning (09:00) for 7 days. Halfway through (3rd day) and at the end of the treatment (7th day), determinations were made at 02:00 of the Phagocytosis Index, Phagocytosis Percentage, Phagocytic Efficiency, and superoxide anion levels in heterophils isolated from the blood, and of the levels of melatonin in the plasma. The results showed an increase in the Phagocytosis Index halfway through and at the end of the treatment with the 300 mg/kg b.w. dose. This effect was maintained in the Phagocytosis Percentage. With that dose, there were also increased superoxide anion levels at the end of the treatment. The results indicate that tryptophan administered orally in the morning to diurnal animals stimulates at 02:00 the innate immune response without altering the levels of melatonin.


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