Liver uptake of amino acids and carbohydrates during a single circulatory passage

W. M. Pardridge, L. S. Jefferson

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The uptake of 14C labeled amino acids and carbohydrates by liver following rapid injection into the portal vein was measured relative to a simultaneously injected highly diffusible reference, tritium labeled water, (3HOH). A 0.25 ml bolus of buffered Ringer solution containing 1-2 μCi of the 14C labeled test substance and 3-6 μCi of 3HOH was administered by rapid portal injection in anesthetized rats. Circulation was terminated after a single passage of the bolus through the hepatic microvasculature and the tissue was immediately macerated, solubilized, and subjected to liquid scintillation counting. Liver uptake indices (LUI) were calculated from the ratio of 14C to 3H in liver tissue relative to the same ratio in the injection mixture. LUI's of 5 carbohydrates were measured: sucrose (24.3%), inulin (27.7%), D mannitol (80.2%), D glucose (96.8%) and L glucose (26.7%). The LUI for cholic acid was 127.1%. Among 18 amino acids tested, the LUI's were the highest for the acidic ones (L aspartic acid, 100.0% and L glutamic acid, 86.4%) and lowest for the basic ones (L arginine, 37.4% and L lysine, 31.4%). Stereospecificity for glucose and alanine uptake, saturation kinetics for glutamic acid (K(m)=4.8 mM) and aspartic acid (K(m)=2.7 mM), and cross inhibition among uptake of the acidic amino acids were observed. These findings confirmed the applicability of a technique which was originally developed for studies of amino acid uptake in brain to characterization of transport systems in liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1155-1161
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1975

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology (medical)


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