Absorption of amino acids from the intestine and their net flux across the mesenteric- and portal-drained viscera of lambs

J C MacRae, L A Bruce, David Stanley Brown, D A H Farningham, M Franklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Experiments were conducted to compare the rates of apparent absorption (disappearance) of individual essential amino acids (EAA) from the small intestine with their net fluxes across the mesenteric- (MDV) and portal- (PDV) drained viscera in sheep given a pelleted alfalfa diet at two levels of intake. Disappearances of individual EAA across the region of the small intestine drained by the mesenteric arcade (jejunum to ileum) were similar to those across the whole of the small intestine (duodenum to ileum). The net MDV flux of each EAA was similar to its rate of disappearance, but, with the exception of threonine on the low intake level, the net PDV flux was lower (P < .05). Increasing the intake of alfalfa from 800 to 1,200 g/d increased the rate of disappearance of individual EAA between the duodenum and ileum by .56 (range .43 to .65) and between the jejunum and ileum by .51 (range .45 to .60). The MDV and PDV blood flows increased by .35 and .39, respectively, and, with the exception of valine, net fluxes of individual EAA increased by .39 (range .20 to .50) across the MDV and by .44 (range .21 to .71) across the PDV. When net fluxes across the MDV and PDV were measured simultaneously, the ratio of PDV: MDV flux for each EAA was less than (P < .05) unity (mean .61, range .55 to .69), even though all MDV blood enters the PDV, contributing approximately .45 of the total portal flow. This observation suggests that, in regions of the tract not drained by the MDV, extraction of arterial blood EAA for tissue and secretory protein synthesis must exceed the release of protein degradation products into the venous drainage. The results are discussed in terms of endogenous protein secretions into the lumen of the tract anterior to the small intestine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3307-3314
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997


  • amino acids
  • absorption
  • nutrient transport
  • sheep
  • foraging
  • digestive tract
  • metabolism
  • liver
  • efficiency
  • digestion


Dive into the research topics of 'Absorption of amino acids from the intestine and their net flux across the mesenteric- and portal-drained viscera of lambs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this