Research Article

Stimulation of protein synthesis and breakdown by vaccination.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 26 July 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:263
  1. P J Garlick,
  2. M A McNurlan,
  3. E B Fern,
  4. A M Tomkins,
  5. J C Waterlow


    Six normal volunteers were vaccinated against typhoid-cholera. 15N-Glycine was injected the morning after vaccination. The injection was repeated three to six days and 10 days later. All subjects ate the same diet on each occasion. Excretion of 15N in urinary ammonia and total urinary excretion of nitrogen, ammonia, and creatinine were determined after each injection of isotope. Urinary excretion of 15N was used to calculate rates of whole-body protein turnover. Total urinary nitrogen and ammonia excretions showed no appreciable change on all three days. Creatinine excretion was significantly higher the day after vaccination than on the other two days (p < 0.05). Rates of protein turnover were also significantly higher on this day: a 37% increase in synthesis and 55% increase in degradation were noted. These results show that during the reaction to vaccination there was a stimulation of whole-body protein metabolism that is similar to that produced by sepsis.