Quantitative partition of threonine oxidation in pigs: effect of dietary threonine

O Ballevre, A Cadenhead, A G Calder, W Rees, G Lobley, M F Fuller, P J Garlick

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Kinetic aspects of threonine (Thr) metabolism were examined in eight pigs fed hourly with a diet containing either 0.68% (LT group) or 0.81% (HT group) of Thr (wt/wt), corresponding to 10 and 30% Thr excess, respectively, compared with an "ideal" diet. Primary production (PR) and disposal (DR) rates were obtained for Thr, glycine (Gly), and 2-keto-butyrate (KB) after a 12-h continuous infusion of L-[U-14C]-Thr together with [1-13C]Gly and a 6-h continuous infusion of [1-14C]KB. Transfer of Thr into secondary pools was also monitored, and from these the rates of Thr oxidation through the catabolic pathways of L-Thr 3-dehydrogenase (DR(Thr-Gly)) and threonine dehydratase (DR(Thr-KB)) were estimated. For the LT group the results were (mumol.kg-1.h-1) PR(Thr) 314 +/- 3, PR(Gly) 551 +/- 24, PR(KB) 41 +/- 3, DR(Thr-Gly) 22 +/- 2, and DR(Thr-KB) 7 +/- 1. For the HT group they were PR(Thr) 301 +/- 23, PR(Gly) 598 +/- 55, PR(KB) 39 +/- 4, DR(Thr-Gly) 32 +/- 2, and DR(Thr-KB) 8 +/- 1. The increase in Thr intake (14 mumol.kg-1.h-1, P less than 0.01) induced a commensurate increase in the sum of DR(Thr-Gly) and DR(Thr-KB) (14 mumol.kg-1.h-1, P less than 0.001) when liver was used as the precursor pool. This was mainly due to the increased DR(Thr-Gly) (13 mumol.kg-1.h-1, P less than 0.01); the change in DR(Thr-KB) was not statistically significant. By comparison of intracellular-to-plasma ratios of specific activities (or enrichments) for different tissues with each type of infusion, liver was shown to be the major site of production of Gly and KB from Thr. These data suggest that in fed growing pigs a 30% excess of Thr in the diet does not alter the partition of Thr oxidation, since 80% of Thr oxidation occurs through the L-Thr 3-dehydrogenase pathway for both LT and HT groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E483-E491
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology
Issue number4 Pt 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1990


  • amino acids
  • animals
  • body weight
  • carbon radioisotopes
  • diet
  • models, biological
  • oxidation-reduction
  • protein biosynthesis
  • proteins
  • radioisotope dilution technique
  • swine
  • threonine


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