Thiamine transport across the rat intestine. II. Effect of ethanol

Anastacio M. Hoyumpa, Kerry J. Breen, Steven Schenker, Frederick A. Wilson

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57 Scopus citations


We have previously investigated the normal characteristics of thiamine intestinal transport in rats and found that at very low concentrations (0.06 to 2.0 μM) thiamine transport is a saturable, carrier-mediated, active process while at high concentrations (>2.0 μM) transport proceeds by simple diffusion. The present studies were undertaken to characterize the effect of ethanol on thiamine transport. Intact isolated loops were used to measure rates of 35S-thiamine hydrochloride absorption into the circulation in vivo, and everted jejunal segments to measure net transmural flux, unidirectional uptake, and cellular exit of 14C-thiamine hydrochloride in vitro. Intragastric administration of ethanol (50 to 750 mg. per 100 grams of weight) reduced absorption of low thiamine concentration in vivo to 65.44 per cent of control value. A similar inhibition was noted after intravenous ethanol. Once attained, the inhibition of thiamine absorption was not related to the ethanol dose or to ethanol concentration in the blood or in the intestinal lumen; this inhibition was reversible. In contrast, ethanol did not affect absorption of high concentrations of thiamine. These findings were confirmed by the in vitro results. In transmural flux studies, the movement of low, but not of high, thiamine concentration against a concentration gradient was inhibited by ethanol, so that the normal serosal/mucosal ratio of 1.5 was reduced to 1.0. Ethanol did not affect unidirectional uptake into the mucosa of either low or high thiamine concentrations, but blocked cellular exit of low thiamine concentrations from the cells into the serosal compartment. Exit of high thiamine concentrations was not affected. Ouabain, like ethanol, markedly reduced cellular exit but did not influence uptake of low thiamine concentrations. The present studies suggest that ethanol adversely affects the active, but not the passive, component of thiamine transport. Moreover, ethanol appears to block thiamine exit from the cells but does not affect cellular uptake of thiamine. The similarity to ouabain action suggests that ethanol may impair active thiamine transport by inhibiting Na-K ATPase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-816
Number of pages14
JournalThe Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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