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Hoppe Seylers Z Physiol Chem. 1981 Nov;362(11):1495-506.

Uptake, metabolism and excretion of orally and intravenously administered, 14C- and 3H-labeled N-acetylneuraminic acid mixture in the mouse and rat.


N-Acetyl-D-[2-14C,9-3H]neuraminic acid, enzymically prepared from sodium [2-14C]-pyruvate and N-acetyl-D-[6-3H]mannosamine by N-acetylneuraminate lyase in 75% yield, was orally administered to 20 day old fasted mice. 90% of the administered neuraminic acid was absorbed from the intestine in the course of 4 h, at a rate depending on the retention time of neuraminic acid in the intestine and the mental conditions of the animals. Between 60 and 90% of the neuraminic acid was excreted in the urine without chemical alteration within the first 6 h. Four hours after administration 10% of the 3H- and 1.3% of the 14C-radioactivity were recovered in the whole blood and in liver, spleen, kidney and brain. After 3 days 0.5% of 3H- and 0.01% of 14C-radioactivity still remained in these tissues. The discrepancy of the 14C-amount relative to the 3H-quantity was accounted for by exhaled 14CO2. After intravenous injection of N-acetylneuraminic acid into rats, 90% of the radioactivity corresponding to the original substance was excreted in the urine within 10 min. Four hours after administration only 5% of the applied 3H- and 1.2% of the 14C-radioactivity were left in the blood and in liver, spleen, kidney and brain. The experiments show that neither orally nor intravenously applied N-acetylneuraminic acid can penetrate cell membranes to a large extent, with the exception of the intestine. The isotopic ratio and N-acetylneuraminate lyase activity suggest that the small amount of the neuraminic acid retained in tissues was largely cleaved by the lyase, followed by metabolism of the reaction products. It may be concluded from these observations that neuraminic acid occurring in food cannot directly be used for the biosynthesis of glycoconjugates on a large scale.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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