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Variations in the amino-acid composition of portal blood during digestion in the pig


, : Variations in the amino-acid composition of portal blood during digestion in the pig. Ann Biol Anim Biochim Biophys 4(4): 383-401

Eight young pigs of 25 kg bearing permanent fistulas in the portal vein received a balanced diet containing starch and herring meal. Various experimental meals (300 to 400 g) of the following compositions were given in the morning: starch mixed with various proteins: (groundnut [long dash] herring meal); barley; starch. Samples of portal blood (10 ml) were taken during a period of 8 hr. after ingestion of the meal. The free amino-acids and amines of the whole blood were extracted with 84% ethanol and then estimated after separation by 2-dimensional paper chromatography. In fasting animals there was less variation between individuals in the proportions of the different amino-acids than in the total amino-acid content; for a given animal, the total amino-acid content is stable and increases only on cessation of growth. After ingestion of nitrogenous meals, the total amino-acid content rises markedly; the concentrations in the portal blood (compared with the blood of the fasting animal) of various amino-acids show considerable increases (up to 200%), reaching a maximum after 2 to 3 hr., after which they decrease progressively; the level of the blood of fasting animals is reached only after 8 hr. The relative curves for the different indispensable amino-acids are characteristic of the different proteins ingested. After ingestion of protein-free meals the concentrations of the indispensable amino-acids show only very slight increases. For each of the amino-acids analysed the increases were related to the amounts ingested. Glycine and alanine concentrations increased much more than could be expected from the inputs; on the contrary, aspartic-acid and glutamine + glutamic-acid concentrations increased very little. At all experimental points, whatever the time that had elapsed after each meal, the relative part of each amino-acid in the total increase of aminoacidemia was calculated, and compared to the composition of the ingested proteins. Modifications in the concentrations of each amino-acid in the portal blood were more often than not parallel to the corresponding content in the ingested proteins. The results are discussed in relation to the imperfections of the method of estimation (leucine, isoleucine and phenylalanine not separated). The amount of indispensable amino-acids of endogenous origin is low (protein-free diet). Metabolism in the wall is important for some dispensable or semi-indispensable amino-acids: large amounts of glutamic-acid and of glutamine in barley cause increases in alanine and glycine. Arginine, present in large quantities in groundnut, causes large increases in ornithine. The kinetics of the increase of the various indispensable amino-acids reveals the limiting factors for each protein.

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