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Gastroenterology. 2010 May;138(5):1802-9. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.10.042. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

Impaired intestinal vitamin B1 (thiamin) uptake in thiamin transporter-2-deficient mice.

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Department of Medical Research, VA Medical Center, Long Beach, California 90822, USA.



Intestinal thiamin uptake process is vital for maintaining normal body homeostasis of the vitamin; in vitro studies suggest that both thiamin transporter-1 (THTR-1) and -2 (THTR-2) are involved. Mutations in THTR-1 cause thiamin-responsive megaloblastic anemia, a tissue-specific disease associated with diabetes mellitus, megaloblastic anemia, and sensorineural deafness. However, in patients with thiamin-responsive megaloblastic anemia, plasma thiamin levels are within normal range, indicating that THTR-2 (or another carrier) could provide sufficient intestinal thiamin absorption. We tested this possibility and examined the role of THTR-2 in uptake of thiamin in the intestine of mice.


THTR-2-deficient mice were generated by SLC19A3 gene knockout and used to examine intestinal uptake of thiamin in vitro (isolated cells) and in vivo (intact intestinal loops). We also examined intestinal thiamin uptake in THTR-1-deficient mice.


Intestine of THTR-2-deficient mice had reduced uptake of thiamin compared with those of wild-type littermate mice (P < .01); this reduction was associated with a decrease (P < .01) in blood thiamin levels in THTR-2-deficient mice. However, intestinal uptake of thiamin in THTR-1-deficient mice was not significantly different from that of wild-type littermate animals. Level of expression of THTR-1 was not altered in the intestine of THTR-2-deficient mice, but level of expression of THTR-2 was up-regulated in the intestine of THTR-1-deficient mice.


THTR-2 is required for normal uptake of thiamin in the intestine and can fulfill normal levels of uptake in conditions associated with THTR-1 dysfunction.

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