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Previous studies have suggested an important role for neurotensin as an enterotrophic factor in the adaptive response of the gut. The purpose of this study was to determine the specific tissue distribution of neurotensin messenger RNA (mRNA) and to examine the molecular mechanisms that regulate intestinal neurotensin gene expression and content. In the first experiment, various segments of gut tissue from three Sprague-Dawley rats were harvested, and polyadenylated RNA was extracted for Northern hybridization with a rat neurotensin probe. In the second experiment, 32 Sprague-Dawley rats were fasted for 72 hours and then killed at 0, 3, 12, and 24 hours after refeeding (n = 8 rats/group). Rats fed ad libitum were killed before fasting (control, n = 8). Distal ileal segments (30 cm) were resected for measurement of neurotensin tissue concentration by radioimmunoassay and extraction of poly (A)+ RNA for Northern hybridization with a rat neurotensin complementary DNA probe. Blots were stripped and reprobed for beta-actin as a control for RNA loading. A nuclear run-on transcription assay was performed to determine the relative rate of neurotensin transcription. In the first experiment, neurotensin messenger RNA transcripts of 1.0 and 1.5 Kb sizes were found throughout the small intestine and proximal colon; the greatest abundance was found in the distal small intestine. In the second experiment, neurotensin tissue concentration was significantly reduced with fasting. Refeeding a diet for 24 hours returned neurotensin concentration to control levels. However, neither the amount of neurotensin messenger RNA nor its rate of transcription were altered by fasting and refeeding. These findings suggest that a posttranscriptional mechanism is responsible for regulation of neurotensin synthesis in gut mucosa.
The role of the gut and liver in nitrogen metabolism was studied during rest, 150 minutes of moderate-intensity treadmill exercise, and 90 minutes of recovery in 18 hour-fasted dogs (n = 6). Dogs underwent surgery 16 days before an experiment for implantation of catheters in a carotid artery and in the portal and hepatic veins, and Doppler flow cuffs on the hepatic artery and portal vein. Arterial glutamine, alanine, and alpha-amino nitrogen (AAN) levels decreased gradually with exercise (P less than .05), while arterial glutamate, NH3, and urea were unchanged. Net gut glutamine uptake was 1.3 +/- 0.5 mumol/kg.min at rest, and increased transiently to 2.5 +/- 0.3 mumol/kg.min at 60 minutes of exercise (P less than .05) as gut extraction increased. Net hepatic glutamine uptake was 0.6 +/- 0.4 mumol/kg.min at rest, and increased to 3.4 +/- 0.6 and 2.6 +/- 0.5 mumol/kg.min after 60 and 150 minutes of exercise (P less than .05) as hepatic extraction increased. Net gut glutamate and NH3 output both increased transiently with exercise (P less than .05). These increases were matched by parallel increments in the net hepatic uptakes of these compounds. Alanine output by the gut and uptake by the liver were unchanged with exercise. Net gut AAN output was -2.1 +/- 1.8 mumol/kg.min at rest (uptake occurred), and increased transiently to 11.2 +/- 3.5 mumol/kg.min after 30 minutes of exercise (P less than .05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Selenium is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and utilized for synthesis of selenoproteins. Roles of intestine, liver, and selenoprotein P in this process were evaluated. Rats were given 75Se-selenite by stomach tube, and distribution of 75Se was followed for 3 h. A high portal vein plasma-to-hepatic vein plasma ratio of 75Se 15 min after 75Se administration and earlier uptake by liver than by other tissues indicated avid hepatic extraction of absorbed selenium from portal vein blood. The results of gel filtration of plasma taken 15 min after 75Se administration suggested that the 75Se was in the form of small molecules with some affinity for protein. Immunoprecipitation studies using plasma indicated that 75Se began to appear in selenoprotein P between 15 and 30 min after intragastric administration. To evaluate the role of the liver in the fate of absorbed selenium, rats with portacaval shunts, in which absorbed selenium bypasses the liver, were compared with sham-operated rats. After intragastric administration of selenium, uptake by the liver and incorporation into selenoprotein P were diminished in rats with portacaval shunts but kidney uptake and urinary excretion were increased. This suggests that hepatic extraction of absorbed selenium from portal vein blood decreases its entrance into the systemic circulation. The results of this study indicate that intestine releases absorbed selenium into portal blood in a small-molecule form, designated A-Se, which is highly extracted by the liver. The liver takes up A-Se better than other tissues because of a high extraction capacity and the fact that it is the first organ through which the blood from the intestine passes.
The complexity of the process of gluconeogenesis makes it very difficult to study in vivo. Of the many approaches used to study this process, none have proven ideal. The arterial-hepatic venous catheterization technique can provide accurate determination of the net splanchnic uptake of the various gluconeogenic precursors but gives no information as to their fate once extracted. The infusion of a labeled precursor, such as [14C]alanine, will provide qualitative information about the fate of the labeled substrate but, without complicated kinetic analysis, will not provide quantitative information on the conversion of the precursor to glucose. Though each of these individual techniques has major limitations in the study of gluconeogenesis, various combinations of these methods can provide further insight into the regulation of this complicated process. By combining the arterial-hepatic venous catheterization technique with the infusion of a labeled precursor, the splanchnic extraction of the precursor can be measured as well as the amount of the extracted precursor that is converted to glucose. The concomitant infusion of two isotopes (a 14C-labeled gluconeogenic precursor to assess substrate conversion to glucose and 3H-labeled glucose to measure glucose turnover) can also provide an accurate determination of the amount of circulating precursor that is converted to glucose. The latter technique provides no information on the splanchnic extraction of the precursor but has the advantage of being less invasive and, therefore, more applicable to man. The last two techniques measure accurately the direct conversion of the circulating precursor to glucose and, therefore, provide reliable index of gluconeogenesis.