Oxidation of amino acids, glucose, and fatty acids as metabolic fuels in enterocytes of developing pigs. Academic Article uri icon


  • Enterocytes of young pigs are known to use glutamine, glutamate, and glucose as major metabolic fuels. However, little is known about the roles of aspartate, alanine, and fatty acids as energy sources for these cells. Therefore, this study simultaneously determined the oxidation of the amino acids and glucose as well as short- and long-chainfatty acids in enterocytes of developing pigs. Jejunal enterocytes were isolated from 0-, 7-, 14- and 21-day-old piglets, and incubated at 37C for 30min in Krebs-Henseleit bicarbonate buffer (pH 7.4) containing 5mM D-glucose and one of the following: D-[U-14C]glucose, 0.5-5mM L-[U-14C]glutamate, 0.5-5mM L-[U-14C]glutamine, 0.5-5mM L-[U-14C]aspartate, 0.5-5mM L-[U-14C]alanine, 0.5-2mM L-[U-14C]palmitate, 0.5-5mM [U-14C]propionate, and 0.5-5mM [1-14C]butyrate. At the end of the incubation, 14CO2 produced from each 14C-labeled substrate was collected. Rates of oxidation of each substrate by enterocytes from all age groups of piglets increased (P < 0.05) gradually with increasing its extracellular concentrations. The rates of oxidation of glutamate, glutamine, aspartate, and glucose by enterocytes from 0- to 21-day-old pigs and of alanine from newborn pigs were much greater (P < 0.05) than those for the same concentrations of palmitate, propionate, and butyrate. Compared with 0-day-old pigs, the rates of oxidation of glutamate, aspartate, glutamine, alanine, and glucose by enterocytes from 21-day-old pigs decreased (P < 0.05) markedly, without changes in palmitate oxidation. Oxidation of alanine, propionate, butyrate and palmitate by enterocytes of pigs was limited during their postnatal growth. At each postnatal age, the oxidation of glutamate, glutamine, aspartate, and glucose produced much more ATP than alanine, propionate, butyrate and palmitate. The degradation of glutamate was initiated primarily by glutamate-pyruvate and glutamate-oxaloacetatetransaminases. Our results indicated that amino acids (glutamate plus glutamine plus aspartate) are the major metabolic fuels in enterocytes of 0- to 21-day-old pigs.

published proceedings

  • Amino Acids

author list (cited authors)

  • He, W., & Wu, G.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • He, Wenliang||Wu, Guoyao

publication date

  • July 2022