ABSTRACT Previous studies have shown two components of glucose absorption in the small intestine: a secondary active transport through SGLT1, and unsaturated component, recently attributed mainly to the facilitated diffusion through GLUT2, but the relationship between these two components under physiological conditions remains controversial. In chronic experiments on nonanesthetized rats we investigated for the first time the kinetics of maltose hydrolysis and glucose absorption in the isolated loop of the small intestine in a wide range of maltose and glucose concentrations (25 ÷ 200 mmol/l glucose). The processes were simulated on mathematical models which took into account the current views about mechanisms of hydrolysis and transport of nutrients and geometric characteristics of the intestinal surface. The results of chronic experiments and mathematical simulation have shown that under the close to physiological conditions the glucose transport mediated by SGLT1 is the main mechanism of its absorption in comparison with the unsaturated component. This was demonstrated not only at low, but also at high substrate concentrations. We conclude that correct evaluation of the relative contribution of different mechanisms in glucose transport through the intestinal epithelium requires taking into account the geometric specificities of its surface.
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