Propionate disappearance from the loops of the hindgut in the rabbit was evaluated by measuring variations in the concentration of propionate in caecocolonic loops and differences in the arterial and venous plasma. In vivo metabolism in gut and liver tissues was studied after introduction of (1-14C) propionate into the caecocolonic loops. The rate of disappearance from the loops was always quantitatively significant but was greater in the proximal colon. Hindgut tissue metabolised propionate and the intensity of the metabolism varied with the segment studied; the proximal colon showed by far the highest propionate consumption. Radioactivity was found in a certain number of free amino acids, organic acids, sugars, lipid soluble substances and proteins. Propionate is an efficient respiratory fuel for the colonocyte and a good precursor for gluconeogenesis.
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