Duodenal copper and calcium absorption was evaluated in 30-day-old normal male Swiss mice by an in situ loop procedure. For both ions, the 90-min absorption values yielded a curve that was resolvable into a hyperbolic (saturable) and a linear (nonsaturable) function. The two ions differed, however, in total absorption and the relative importance of the two functions. For copper, the maximum saturable component of transepithelial movement (Jmax) was 127 +/- 2.4 (SE) pmol in 90 min, the apparent half-saturation constant of the saturable process (Kt) was 4.3 +/- 0.7 microM, and the slope of the nonsaturable function was 0.011 +/- 0.006. Thus, when luminal copper equaled plasma copper (approximately equal to 15 microM), only 8% was absorbed, nearly all of which was by the saturable component. For calcium, on the other hand, Jmax was 4.8 +/- 0.1 mumol, the Kt was 27 +/- 2 mM, and the slope was 0.10 +/- 0.01. At luminal calcium concentrations equal to the inorganic plasma calcium (1 mM), calcium absorption was 75%, but only 80% of that was moved by the saturable process. The findings suggest the existence of separate transport mechanisms for copper and calcium.
- Copyright © 1985 the American Physiological Society