Ontogenetic development of monosaccharide and amino acid transporters in rabbit intestine

Randal Buddington, J. M. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We measured brush-border uptakes of seven sugars and amino acids by rabbit intestine as a function of age from the day of birth to adulthood. Gut dimensions, especially those of the colon and cecum, increase more rapidly with body weight than would be true if rabbits maintained identical proportions as they grew. However, nominal small intestinal area increases in approximately direct proportion to the animal's basal metabolic rate. For all solutes except fructose, uptake per milligram of intestinal tissue is maximal at or near birth and declines to a level 2.5-5 times lower in the adult. Because of small intestinal growth, though, the total uptake capacity of the whole length of the small intestine increases in approximately direct proportion to metabolic rate. Fructose uptake per milligram is unique in increasing steeply at the time of weaning, correlated with the post-weaning first appearance of fructose in the natural diet. Age-related changes in uptake ratios among aldohexoses or amino acids suggest developmental sequences of related transporters. Correlated with the very high protein content of rabbit milk, the proline-to-glucose uptake ratio is higher in suckling rabbits than in other sucking mammals. Remarkably, the ratio for adult rabbits is higher than in other monogastric herbivores and is instead similar to values for carnivores. In explanation, although the transport capacity of the small intestine appears to account for proline absorption in rabbits of all ages and for sugar absorption in suckling rabbits, the hindgut may be a major site of carbohydrate digestion in adult rabbits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Volume259
Issue number4 22-4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

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Amino Acid Transport Systems
Monosaccharides
Intestines
Rabbits
Fructose
Weaning
Proline
Small Intestine
Parturition
Amino Acids
Sugar Acids
Basal Metabolism
Herbivory
Cecum
Microvilli
Digestion
Mammals
Colon
Milk
Body Weight

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

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