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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2008 Sep;295(3):G479-84. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00566.2007. Epub 2008 Jul 10.

Sodium tungstate decreases sucrase and Na+/D-glucose cotransporter in the jejunum of diabetic rats.

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  • 1Departament de Fisiologia, Facultat de Farmàcia, INSA, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII s/n, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain.


Sodium tungstate reduces glycemia and reverts the diabetic phenotype in several induced and genetic animal models of diabetes. Oral administration of this compound has recently emerged as an effective treatment for diabetes. Here we examined the effects of 30 days of oral administration of tungstate on disaccharidase and Na+/D-glucose cotransporter (SGLT1) activity in the jejunum of control and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Diabetes increased sucrase-specific activity in the jejunal mucosa but did not affect the activity of lactase, maltase, or trehalase. The abundance and the maximal rate of transport of SGLT1 in isolated brush-border membrane vesicles also increased. Tungstate decreased sucrase activity and normalized SGLT1 expression and activity in the jejunum of diabetic rats. Furthermore, tungstate did not change the affinity of SGLT1 for d-glucose and had no effect on the diffusional component. In control animals, tungstate had no effect on disaccharidases or SGLT1 expression. Northern blot analysis showed that the amount of specific SGLT1 mRNA was the same in the jejunum from all experimental groups, thereby indicating that changes in SGLT1 abundance are due to posttranscriptional mechanisms. We conclude that the antidiabetic effect of tungstate is partly due to normalization of the activity of sucrase and SGLT1 in the brush-border membrane of enterocytes.

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