Transport studies and enzyme assays in mice infected with human Giardia lamblia.
It is well established that Giardia infection causes malabsorption. However, the precise mechanism of such a malabsorption is not known. To investigate this, transport studies, using the tissue accumulation technique, were carried out in mice infected with G. lamblia obtained from human stools. There was a significant fall in the transport of D-glucose, L-alanine and glycine in the infected animals compared with the controls. Kinetics of the D-glucose and glycine transport system were examined by measuring the tissue uptake in the presence of different concentrations of the substrate. For glucose, the affinity constant (Km) for the transport site was the same (4 . 37mM) in normal and infected animals but the maximal transport rate (V max) was considerably reduced in infected animals (158 . 7 mu moles/hr/g tissue) compared with (357 . 1 microgram moles/hr/g tissue) in controls. Results with glycine were similar; the Km was similar in control and infected animals (5 . 7 mM) whereas the V max was reduced in infected animals (27 . 02 microgram moles/hr/g tissue) compared with controls (45 . 5 micrograms moles/hr/g tissue). Analysis of the intestinal enzymes showed a significant decrease in the levels of brush border sucrase, lactase and alkaline phosphatase in infected animals; the cellular enzymes, LDH, GOT and GPT remained unaffected. The observed aberrations in the transport functions and brush border enzymes suggest that G. lamblia causes malabsorption by damaging the epithelial membrane of the enterocyte.
Anand, BS; Mahmood, A; Ganguly, NK; Rehani, MM; Dilawari, JB; Mahajan, RC
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