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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1975 Oct 6;406(2):280-93.

Characterization of the passive and active transport mechanisms for bile acid uptake into rat isolated intestinal epithelial cells.


The unstirred water layer has been shown to lead to an underestimation of apparent Km (Km(app)) values for active transport processes in intestinal whole tissue preparations. Isolated cells offer several potential advantages in the study of transport processes including a decreased diffusion layer of water adjacent to their absorptive membranes. Initial studies in cells isolated from rat intestine involving measurements of CO2 and lactate production and O2 consumption showed that overall metabolic pathways were functioning. Next, unidirectional uptake rates of bile acids across the isolated cell membrane were determined following correction for extracellular fluid contamination with a non-absorbable marker. Using epithelial cells isolated from jejunum P(app) for eight bile acid monomers varied from 24.9 (taurocholate) to 1563 (deoxycholate) nmol/min/100 mg protein/mM. From these data the incremental free energy changes for the addition of a hydroxyl, glycine and taurine group to the bile acid molecule were calculated to be 982, 1040 and 1464 cal/mol, respectively, values similar to those obtained after correction for unstirred water layer resistance in whole tissue preparations. Following subtraction of the passive component in isolated ileal cells complete kinetic curves for taurocholate and taurodeoxycholate yielded V(app) values of 109 and 70 nmol/min per 100 mg, respectively. Km(app) values of 0.24 mM (taurocholate) and 0.10 mM (taurodeoxycholate) are lower than usually recorded in whole tissue. Bile acid uptake into cells from ileum, but not jejunum, was affected by temperature, metabolic and competitive inhibition. These studies indicate that isolated epithelial cells are a metabolically viable, relatively purified intestinal preparation which discriminates between active and passive transport processes for bile acids under conditions where unstirred water layer artifacts are minimized.

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