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The effects of insulin-induced hypoglycemia (IIH) on leucine kinetics (mumol.kg-1.min-1) and interorgan flow of amino acids (AA) were examined in 2 groups of 18-h fasted conscious dogs. Insulin was infused at 5 mU.kg-1.min-1 for 3 h. IIH (40 +/- 5 mg/dl) resulted in a drop in plasma leucine (114 +/- 10 to 64 +/- 9 microM) and leucine rate of appearance (Ra) (3.1 +/- 0.1 to 2.4 +/- 0.2) within 1 h but gradually increased (P less than 0.05) to 145 +/- 30 microM and 3.8 +/- 0.5 by 3 h. Leucine oxidative rate of disposal (Rd) increased from 0.44 +/- 0.08 to 1.02 +/- 0.35 (P less than 0.01), and nonoxidative Rd dropped initially but was near basal levels by 3 h. When euglycemia was maintained, there was sustained drop in plasma leucine from 122 +/- 12 to 42 +/- 6 mumol/l, leucine Ra from 3.1 +/- 0.4 to 1.8 +/- 0.2, oxidative Rd from 0.36 +/- 0.03 to 0.22 +/- 0.04, and nonoxidative Rd from 2.75 +/- 0.4 to 1.6 +/- 0.2 (all P less than 0.01). IIH was associated with a significant net release of leucine (and other AA) across the gut (0.04 +/- 0.05 to 1.86 +/- 0.30 mumol.kg-1.min-1; P less than 0.05). In the group with euglycemia there was no significant change in the gut balance of leucine. We conclude that IIH is associated with a proteolytic response and that the gut is the major contributor to this response.
Tumors are known to cause profound changes in host biology, but the mechanisms responsible for these changes remain unclear. Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) is a rate-limiting enzyme that catalyzes the biosynthesis of polyamines. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of MC-26 tumor burden on ODC activity in the gastrointestinal tract, kidney and liver of mice. Forty-four Balb/c mice were randomly divided into 2 groups and the test group was pair-fed (to control). Group 1 was the tumor-free control. Group 2 was inoculated subcutaneously with 5 x 10(5) MC-26 cells. The ODC activity in the kidney and liver of tumor-bearing mice was significantly lower compared to tumor-free controls at sacrifice. ODC activity in the colon increased almost 4-fold. These results suggest that the presence of MC-26 tumor causes systemic effects that alter ODC activity. The tumor may elaborate a substance that suppresses ODC activity in some normal tissues while stimulating ODC activity in the tissue from which the tumor was derived.
The origin of intact (78-kD) lactoferrin found in the urine of human milk-fed preterm infants was investigated using human milk containing proteins enriched with [13C]leucine and [15N2]lysine or [2H4]lysine. Mothers of infants selected for the study were infused i.v. with [13C] leucine and [15N2]lysine or [2H4]lysine to label milk proteins. The labeled milk was collected from each mother, pooled, fortified with a lyophilized human milk fraction, and fed to her preterm infant by continuous orogastric infusion for a period of 48 h. Urine was collected from each infant for 96 h. Intact lactoferrin (78 kD) and DNA-binding lactoferrin fragments (51 and 39 kD) were purified from the urine by affinity chromatography on columns of immobilized single-stranded DNA-agarose. The concentration and isotopic enrichment of the intact lactoferrin and DNA-binding fragments were determined separately after their isolation by high-performance reverse-phase (phenyl) chromatography. Mass spectral analyses indicated that the isotopic enrichment of the purified urinary lactoferrin was 87 to 100% of that in the labeled human milk lactoferrin. Similar results were obtained for the isolated DNA-binding lactoferrin fragments. The ratios of isotopically labeled leucine to lysine in the purified milk lactoferrins and urinary lactoferrins were similar for each mother/infant pair. Isotopically labeled lysine, added to the milk as free amino acid, was not incorporated into the purified urinary lactoferrin. These results demonstrate that undegraded (78-kD) lactoferrin of maternal origin is absorbed by the gut and excreted intact in the urine of preterm infants; nearly all of the urinary lactoferrin was of maternal origin. The possible immunoregulatory functions of the absorbed intact, maternal lactoferrin are discussed.
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.