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Am J Physiol. 1984 Mar;246(3 Pt 1):G281-5.

Effects of lactose on calcium absorption and secretion by rat ileum.


The direct effects of lactose on net intestinal calcium absorption were determined by measuring unidirectional steady-state calcium fluxes in vitro under short-circuited conditions in segments of rat ileum. The isosmotic mucosal additions in segments of rat ileum. The isosmotic mucosal addition of lactose (160 mM) increased net calcium absorption (J net) by increasing the absorptive flux from mucosa to serosa (Jm----s) and reducing the secretory flux from serosa to mucosa (Js----m). Lactose also reduced tissue conductance and short-circuit current and reversed tissue polarity. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 administration (50 ng/day for 4 days) increased J net from secretion to no net flux (Jm----s = Js----m), and lactose increased J net further to net absorption. Removal of sodium from the medium, like lactose addition, increased J net by increasing Jm----s and reducing Js----m. The replacement of medium sodium with choline abolished a further increase of J net by lactose. These results show that lactose increases net calcium absorption in the absence of transepithelial electrochemical or osmotic gradients. Transcellular calcium transport may be stimulated by lactose by hyperpolarization of the brush border as a result of reduced mucosal sodium.

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