When blood plasma proteins are depleted by bleeding with return of red cells suspended in saline (plasmapheresis) it is possible to bring dogs to a steady state of hypoproteinemia and a constant level of plasma protein production if the diet nitrogen intake is controlled and limited. Such dogs are outwardly normal but have a lowered resistance to infection and to certain intoxications.
The ten growth essential amino acids of Rose plus glycine will maintain nitrogen balance and produce as much new plasma protein as will good diet proteins. This good utilization is demonstrated over periods of several months when the amino acids are given either orally or parenterally. There is no evidence of toxicity in general nor to unnatural forms of these synthetic amino acids in particular.
Given parenterally appropriate mixtures of these amino acids are well tolerated even upon rapid injection. The minimal daily requirements for a 10 kilo dog may be given intravenously in 10 minutes without reaction. Subcutaneously a 10 per cent solution may be given rapidly without reaction.
Among various mixtures tested Vt approximates a minimum for a 10 kilo dog. It contains in grams (dl-threonine 0.7, dl-valine 1.5, l-(-) leucine 1.5, dl-isoleucine 1.4, dl-lysine hydrochloride 1.5, l(-) tryptophane 0.4, dl-phenylalanine 1.0, dl-methionine 0.6, l(+)-histidine hydrochloride 0.5, l(+)-arginine hydrochloride 0.5, and glycine 1.0. The presence of glycine improves tolerance to rapid intravenous injection, but excess glycine does not improve utilization of the mixture. Over a long period this mixture appears suboptimal in quantity. Doubled it is more than ample.
Of two casein digests tested the one prepared by enzymatic hydrolysis provided good nitrogen retention and fairly good plasma protein production but was much less tolerable upon intravenous injection than certain mixtures of pure amino acids. The other one prepared by acid hydrolysis and tryptophane fortification afforded bare nitrogen equilibrium and produced virtually no plasma protein.
Skin lesions observed after 10 to 20 weeks of synthetic diet probably reflect a deficiency of some member or members of the vitamin B2 group. A persistent slight weight loss in the face of a strongly positive nitrogen balance may accompany this deficiency.