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Am J Med Sci. 1996 Mar;311(3):107-12.

Paracellular transport of water and carbohydrates during intestinal perfusion of protamine in the rat.

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  • 1Department of Exercise Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA.


With these experiments, the authors' purpose was to determine whether the intestinal perfusion of protamine would successfully block paracellular transport without causing significant change in cardiovascular function. In anesthetized (50 mg x kg-1 sodium pentobarbital) rats (n=12), heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure were measured during perfusion (0.5 mL x min-1) of a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution through the small intestine. The carbohydrate-electrolyte solution contained 150 mM glucose, 150 mM fructose, 10 mM lactulose, 17 mEq sodium, 3 mEq potassium, and either 0.0, 0.1, 1.0, or 10 mg x mL-1 protamine. Osmolality of the 4 solutions ranged from 363 +/- 2 to 365 +/- 3 mOsm x kg-1. Core temperature was maintained at 37 degrees C in an environmental chamber. Heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure were constant during all intestinal perfusions. Forty-one percent of the perfused lactulose was absorbed. Absorption of glucose, fructose, and lactulose was significantly inhibited by 0.1 mg x mL-1 protamine, while water absorption was decreased 41 percent by 1.0 mg x mL-1 protamine. Water and lactulose absorption fell 75% with protamine, and glucose and fructose absorption fell 50%. Lactulose and fructose absorption did not decrease further when protamine dose rose to 10 mg x mL-1. These results indicate that 1) perfusion of protamine into the small intestine in doses that significantly affect intestinal transport does not significantly affect heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure; and 2) if the primary effect of protamine is to block paracellular movement of water and solute, the greater protamine inhibition of water and lactulose absorption is consistent with a greater paracellular transport of water and lactulose than for glucose and fructose.

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