Secretion of monoquaternary ammonium compounds by guinea pig small intestine in vivo

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1977 Oct;299(3):201-5. doi: 10.1007/BF00500311.


In anesthetized guinea pigs N-(3H)methylscopolamine (NMScop), N1-(14C)methylnicotinamide (NMN), and (14C)tetraethylammonium (TEA), administered intravenously, were secreted against a concentration gradient into the lumen of the small intestine. The concentration ratio of unmetabolized ammonium base in the intestinal lumen to that in the plasma was 4.3 and 6.5 for NMScop and NMN, respectively, 75 min after the intravenous injection of 1 nmole/g body weight of the individual compounds. The corresponding value for TEA after 180 min was 2.0. The establishment of the concentration gradient between intestinal lumen and plasma was diminished with increasing doses. An excess of NMN inhibited the uphill transport of NMScop. Since the electrical potential difference across the intestinal epithelium and a 'fluid circuit' mechanism cannot solely account for the observed accumulation of the monoquaternary ammonium compounds in the intestinal lumen, the evidence presented supports previous in vitro findings that the small intestine is capable of actively secreting organic cations.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives
  • Niacinamide / metabolism
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / blood
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / metabolism*
  • Scopolamine / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
  • Niacinamide
  • Scopolamine