Intestinal calcium transport in mole‐rats (Cryptomys damarensis and Heterocephalus glaber) is independent of both genomic and non‐genomic vitamin D mediation

T. Pitcher, R. Buffenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The role of vitamin D in mineral uptake in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of mole‐rats (Heterocephalus glaber and Cryptomys damarensis; family Bathyergidae), animals with a naturally impoverished vitamin D status, was investigated. We measured relative rates of passage of radioactive markers, mode of calcium (Ca) uptake, paracellular movement and the opening of voltage‐sensitive Ca channels (VSCCs) along the GIT with and without oral vitamin D3 supplementation. The ratio of relative absorption of labelled 45Ca to [14C]polyethylene glycol ([14C]PEG) indicated that within 24 h more than 88% of the Ca in the diet had been absorbed. Most absorption occurred in the duodenum within 12 h. The contribution of the hindgut (caecum and proximal and distal colon) to total Ca absorption was small (approximately 11%). Only passive uptake occurred in the duodenum (serosal (S): mucosal (M) ratios approximately 1). Active uptake occurred in the hindgut (S:M > 2), although hindgut absorption appears to play a secondary role to passive uptake in the duodenum. Vitamin D3 supplementation had no effect on the mode of Ca uptake in either the small intestine or the hindgut. Although we found VSCCs in mole‐rat intestinal epithelial cells, they occurred in very low concentrations. Calcium influx through VSCCs did not change following vitamin D stimulation. Furthermore, mole‐rats pretreated with intraperitoneal (I.P.) 1,25(OH)2D3 showed no enhancement of VSCC Ca uptake, indicating that active uptake plays a minor role, if any, in GIT mineral absorption. Our data support the hypothesis that intestinal Ca transport in mole‐rats is independent of both genomic and non‐genomic vitamin D mediation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-608
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Physiology
Volume80
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)

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