Thiamine transport in thiamine-deficient rats role of the unstirred water layer

Anastacio M. Hoyumpa, Sharon Nichols, Steven Schenker, Frederick A. Wilson

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18 Scopus citations


As part or a systematic study of alcoholism and thiamine absorption, the effect of diet-induced thiamine deficiency and the role of the unstirred water layer on thiamine transport were investigated. Using 3H-labeled dextran as a marker of adherent mucosal volume, jejunal uptake of 14C-labeled thiamine hydrochloride was measured, in vitro, in thiamine-deficient rats and pair-fed controls. Uptake of low thiamine concentrations (0.2 and 0.5 μM) was greater in the thiamine-deficient rats thatn in the controls. In contrast, uptake rates for high thiamine concentrations (20 and 50 μM) were similar in both groups. While *Jmax was unaltered, *Km was decreased in thiamine deficiency, suggesting a decrease in unstirred water layer thickness. Accordingly, the thickness of the water layer was measured in both groups of animals and correlated with *Jmax and *Km under unstirred and st irred conditions. Without stirring, there was no difference in *Jmax between the two groups. In contrast, both *Km and the water layer were reduced in the thiamine-deficient rats. With stirring, *Jmax was not affected, but both *Km and the water layer thickness were reduced to similar values in both groups. Reversal of thiamine deficiency resulted in the return of thiamine uptake and the unstirred water layer thickness to control values. These data support the concept of a dual system of thiamine transport and emphasize the role of the unstirred water layer as an important determinant of transport kinetics not only under physiologic situations but also in diet-induced rat thiamine deficiency, a model for a clinical pathological state. The decrease in the unstirred water layer thickness in thiamine deficiency may be also viewed as a possible adaptive mechanism to facilitate absorption of meager supplies of thiamine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-447
Number of pages10
JournalBBA - Biomembranes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 17 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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