Effect of dietary phosphorus intake and age on intestinal phosphorus absorption efficiency and phosphorus balance in male rats

Colby J Vorland, Pamela J Lachcik, Loretta O Aromeh, Sharon M Moe, Neal X Chen, Kathleen M Hill Gallant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Intestinal phosphorus absorption is an important component of whole-body phosphorus metabolism, and limiting dietary phosphorus absorption is particularly of interest as a therapeutic target in patients with chronic kidney disease to manage mineral bone disorders. Yet, mechanisms and regulation of intestinal phosphorus absorption have not been adequately studied and discrepancies in findings exist based on the absorption assessment technique used. In vitro techniques show rather consistent effects of dietary phosphorus intake level and age on intestinal sodium-dependent phosphate transport. But, the few studies that have used in vivo techniques conflict with these in vitro studies. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effects of dietary phosphorus intake level on phosphorus absorption using the in situ ligated loop technique in three different aged rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 72), were studied at 10-, 20-, and 30-weeks-of-age on a low (0.1%), normal (0.6%), or high (1.2%) phosphorus diet in a 3x3 factorial design (n = 8/group). Rats were fed their assigned diet for 2-weeks prior to absorption testing by jejunal ligated loop as a non-survival procedure, utilizing 33P radioisotope. Metabolic cages were used for determination of calcium and phosphorus balance over the final four days prior to sacrifice, and blood was collected at the time of sacrifice for biochemistries. Our results show that phosphorus absorption was higher in 10-week-old rats compared with 20- and 30-week-olds and this corresponded to higher gene expression of the major phosphate transporter, NaPi-2b, as well as higher whole-body phosphorus balance and net phosphorus absorption. Dietary phosphorus intake level did not affect jejunal phosphorus absorption or NaPi-2b gene expression. Our results contrast with studies utilizing in vitro techniques, but corroborate results of other rodent studies utilizing in situ or in vivo methods. Thus, there is need for additional studies that employ more physiological methods of phosphorus absorption assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e0207601
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Calcium/metabolism
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Intestines/chemistry
  • Male
  • Phosphorus, Dietary/administration & dosage
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter Proteins, Type IIb/genetics
  • Up-Regulation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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