Methods: Rats were randomly assigned to three experimental groups. Group I (control at day 0) (n = 9): group II (control at day 10) (n = 9): oral distilled water, group III (study group) (n = 9): oral glutamine (200 mg/kg/day). After 10 days, the ileojejunal segment was removed for biochemical analyses of toll-like receptors 2, 4 and 9.
Results: There was a significant difference between groups for the levels of Toll-like receptors. The level of Toll-like receptor 9 was higher in Group I than Group II and in Group III than Group II. There was no statistically significant difference between Group I and Group III in terms of Toll-like receptor 9 levels. There were no statistically significant differences between groups for the levels of Toll-like receptor 2 and 4.
Conclusion: Glutamine administration, by increasing the level of Toll-like receptor 9, may prevent the increase in the level of Toll-like receptor 4 in newborn rat intestine. Thus, it may play a protective role in the intestine and reduce the susceptibility to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which is associated with the intensity of Toll-like receptor 4 expression.