Quantification of circulating peptides and assessment of peptide uptake across the gastrointestinal tract of sheep

F R Backwell, Rui Miguel Reis, David Wilson, Laura Leanne Bruce, Vivien Buchan, C MacRae

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Gastrointestinal absorption of peptides was examined in sheep fed a forage-based diet. Peptide concentrations were determined in arterial, portal, and mesenteric blood and plasma by quantification of amino acid concentrations before and after acid hydrolysis of samples that had been first deproteinized then subjected to Sephadex G-15 gel-filtration to remove residual protein. In contrast to other studies of ruminants, peptide concentrations for individual amino acids were lower than for the corresponding free amino acids with peptide (expressed as a proportion of total nonprotein amino acid) representing not more than .25 to .3 of total amino acid. Peptide concentrations in arterial, mesenteric, and portal blood and plasma were similar, indicating that on this diet there was no net uptake of peptides from the small intestine (mesenteric-drained viscera, MDV) or the whole tract (portal-drained viscera, PDV). Increasing the intake of alfalfa pellets from 800 to 1,200 g/d, while increasing the absorption and net flux across the MDV and PDV of free amino acids, had no effect on peptide absorption. Preparation of blood and plasma samples for peptide analysis with methods used in studies in which substantial peptide absorption has been reported indicated no net MDV or PDV flux of peptide. Such conflicting data on the extent of gastrointestinal peptide flux are discussed in the context of methodological differences and the importance of diet and physiological state of the animal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3315-22
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997


  • Amino Acids
  • Animals
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Digestive System Physiological Phenomena
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Glutamine
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Male
  • Peptides
  • Sheep
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization


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