Send to

Choose Destination
Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2005 Jul;83(7):595-604.

Endogenous prolactin modulated the calcium absorption in the jejunum of suckling rats.

Author information

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.


Prolactin has been reported to stimulate intestinal calcium absorption in young and mature, but not aging rats. The present study was performed on suckling rats to elucidate the actions of endogenous prolactin on calcium absorption in various intestinal segments. Before measuring the calcium fluxes, 9-day-old rats were administered for 7 days with 0.9% NaCl, s.c. (control), 3 mg/kg bromocriptine, i.p., twice daily to abolish secretion of endogenous prolactin, or bromocriptine plus exogenous 2.5 mg/kg prolactin, s.c. Thereafter, the 16-day-old rats were experimented upon by instilling the 45Ca-containing solution into the intestinal segments. The results showed that, under a physiological condition, the jejunum had the highest rate of calcium absorption compared with other segments (1.4 +/- 0.35, p < 0.05). The duodenum and ileum also manifested calcium absorption, whereas the colon showed calcium secretion. Lack of endogenous prolactin decreased lumen-to-plasma and net calcium fluxes in jejunum from 2.07 +/- 0.31 to 1.19 +/- 0.12 and 1.40 +/- 0.35 to 0.88 +/- 0.18 (p < 0.05), respectively, and exogenous prolactin restored the jejunal calcium absorption to the control value. Endogenous prolactin also had an effect on the duodenum but, in this case, exogenous prolactin did not reverse the effect of bromocriptine. However, neither ileal nor colonic calcium fluxes were influenced by prolactin. Because luminal sodium concentration has been demonstrated to affect calcium absorption in mature rats, the effect of varying luminal sodium concentrations on calcium fluxes in suckling rats was evaluated. The jejunum was used due to its highest rate of calcium absorption. After filling the jejunal segments with 124 (control), 80, 40 mmol/L Na+-containing or Na+-free solution, increases in calcium absorption were found to be inversely related to luminal sodium concentrations in both control and bromocriptine-treated rats. The plasma concentration of 45Ca under luminal sodium free condition was also higher than that of the control condition (2.26% +/- 0.07% vs. 2.01% +/- 0.09% administered dose, p < 0.05). However, 3H-mannitol, a marker of the widening of tight junction that was introduced into the lumen, had a stable level in the plasma during an increase in plasma 45Ca, suggesting that the widening of tight junction was not required for enhanced calcium absorption. In conclusion, calcium absorption in suckling rats was of the highest rate in the jejunum where endogenous prolactin modulated calcium absorption without increasing the paracellular transport of mannitol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center