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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of dietary thiamin deficiency on intestinal functions in rats.

The effect of dietary thiamin deficiency has been studied on intestinal functions and chemical composition of brush border membranes in rats. Intestinal uptake of glucose, glycine, alanine, and leucine was significantly stimulated in thiamin deficiency compared to pair-fed control group. Studies with glucose and glycine revealed that stimulation of the absorption process occurs only in the presence of Na+ but not in its absence. Km measured in the presence of 140 mM Na+ for glucose and glycine uptakes was reduced by 56 and 41%, respectively, but Vmax remained unaltered in vitamin deficiency. There was no change in these parameters in Na+-free medium (Km = 31.3 and 23.3 mM; Vmax = 17.2 to 19.7 and 13.5 to 16.4 mumol/10 min/g wet tissue, respectively) under these conditions. The activities of brush border sucrase, lactase, maltase, alkaline phosphatase, and leucine aminopeptidase were reduced by 42 to 66% in thiamin deficiency, compared to pair-fed controls. Kinetic studies with sucrase and alkaline phosphatase evinced that a decrease in Vmax (61 and 64%, respectively) with no change in Km (33.8 and 4.3 mM, respectively) was responsible for observed impairment in the enzyme activities in thiamin deficiency. Microvillus membrane proteins expressed on dry membrane basis were reduced by 20% in thiamin-deficient intestine. There was no difference in membrane sialic acid, cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides fractions under these conditions. It is suggested that thinning of the microvillus membrane may be implicated in observed aberrations of intestinal functions in thiamin-deprived animals.[1]


  1. Effect of dietary thiamin deficiency on intestinal functions in rats. Mahmood, S., Dani, H.M., Mahmood, A. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. (1984) [Pubmed]
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