Rat intestinal lymph osmolarity during glucose and oleic acid absorption

H. G. Bohlen, J. L. Unthank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


The two major purposes of this study were to determine 1) how glucose and oleic acid absorption by the intestinal villi influenced the osmotic composition of lymph as it exited the villus base and 2) what if any changes in lymph osmolarity occurred as the lymph traversed through the bowel wall. The rat jejunum was used in all studies and lymph was collected from individual lymphatics at 0.5-1 nl/min during control states and luminal exposure to 35-550 mg% glucose solutions (isotonic in saline) and 5 and 20 mM oleic acid-taurocholate solutions. Lymph collected from the base of villi during vigorous motility had an osmolarity of 403 ± 15 mosM at rest and was only increased 30-50 mosM more except during exposure to 550 mg% glucose, where osmolarity increased over 100 mosM. Under comparable conditions, the submucosal lymph osmolarity at rest was 302 ± 3.5 mosM and increased to 330-350 mosM during exposure to all of the solutions tested. When intestinal motility was virtually stopped, the submucosal lymph osmolarity was isotonic for all solutions tested. These observations indicate that absorption of glucose and oleic acid increased the osmolarity of lymph, leaving the villus only 30-50 mosM unless a glucose concentration of 550 mg% was present. Furthermore, the increased flow of villus lymph during absorption raised the osmolarity of the submucosal lymph when bowel motility assisted the lymph propulsion. This movement of materials from the villus to the submucosa by venular blood and lymph flow provides an opportunity for the villus tissue to influence the composition of the submucosal interstitial environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20/3
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)

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