Long-chain fatty acid absorption in rats with a jejunal lesion similar to that which is found in adult coeliac disease has been studied. Neither changes in the solubility of the fatty acid in the intestinal lumen nor histological abnormalities of the villous epithelium accounted for the malabsorptive state. Evidence was obtained from studies in vivo of a disturbance in the intramucosal esterification of long-chain fatty acid. Assay of the activity of the microsomal enzymes responsible for the conversion of fatty acid to triglyceride revealed that this pathway was defective in the parasitized animals.
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