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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006 Sep;291(3):G446-55. Epub 2006 May 4.

Chronic metabolic acidosis stimulated transcellular and solvent drag-induced calcium transport in the duodenum of female rats.

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Dept. of Physiology and Consortium for Calcium and Bone Research, Faculty of Science, Mahidol Univ., Rama VI Rd., Bangkok 10400, Thailand.


Chronic metabolic acidosis results in a negative calcium balance as a result of bone resorption and renal calcium loss. However, reports on the changes in intestinal calcium transport have been controversial. The present investigation therefore aimed to study the effects of chronic metabolic acidosis induced by 1.5% NH(4)Cl administration on the three components of duodenal calcium transport, namely, solvent drag-induced, transcellular active, and passive paracellular components, in rats using an in vitro Ussing chamber technique. The relative mRNA expression of genes related to duodenal calcium transport was also determined. We found that 21-day chronic metabolic acidosis stimulated solvent drag-induced and transcellular active duodenal calcium transport but not passive paracellular calcium transport. Our results further demonstrated that an acute direct exposure to serosal acidic pH, in contrast, decreased solvent drag-induced calcium transport in a pH-dependent fashion but had no effect on transcellular active calcium transport. Neither the transepithelial resistance nor duodenal permeability to Na(+), Cl(-), and Ca(2+) via the passive paracellular pathway were altered by chronic metabolic acidosis, suggesting that widening of the tight junction and changes in the charge-selective property of the tight junction did not occur. Thus the enhanced duodenal calcium transport observed in chronic metabolic acidosis could have resulted from a long-term adaptation, possibly at the molecular level. RT-PCR study revealed that chronic metabolic acidosis significantly increased the relative mRNA expression of duodenal genes associated with solvent drag-induced transport, i.e., the beta(1)-subunit of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase, zonula occludens-1, occludin, and claudin-3, and with transcellular active transport, i.e., transient receptor potential vanilloid family Ca(2+) channels 5 and 6 and plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase isoform 1b. Total plasma calcium and free ionized calcium and magnesium concentrations were also increased, whereas serum parathyroid hormone and 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) levels were not changed. The results indicated that 21-day chronic metabolic acidosis affected the calcium metabolism in rats partly through enhancing the mRNA expression of crucial duodenal genes involved in calcium absorption, thereby stimulating solvent drag-induced and transcellular active calcium transport in the duodenum.

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