Investigation of drug metabolism in various segments of small intestine in the rat

Acta Physiol Hung. 2013 Mar;100(1):115-23. doi: 10.1556/APhysiol.99.2012.002.


In the extrahepatic drug metabolism the intestinal tract can play an important role. These experiments were designed to study the biotransformation of p-nitrophenol (PNP) in the small intestine in the rat. Various segments of the small intestine (proximal and distal jejunum, terminal ileum) were perfused with isotonic solution in vivo containing different concentrations of PNP (20-100-500-1000 μM) and the concentrations of metabolites (PNP-G: p-nitrophenol glucuronide, PNP-S: p-nitrophenol sulfate) were determined in the perfusion medium. It was found a decreasing tendency in the glucuronidation from the proximal to distal segment of the small intestine: e.g. 430 nmol, 240 nmol, and 100 nmol PNP-G appeared in the perfusion medium in the proximal, distal jejunum and in the terminal ileum, respectively, when 500 μM PNP was luminally perfused for 90 minutes. Similar ratio was found at the luminal perfusion of other PNP-concentrations, too. Luminal appearance of sulfoconjugate of PNP was considerably lower and no clear gradient tendency in the formation of PNP-S could be detected in the small intestine from the proximal to distal segment. Our results show that there are considerable differences in drug metabolism in various segments of the small intestine. We have found a gradient conjugating activity from proximal to distal segment of small intestine in the glucuronidation of PNP.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glucuronates / metabolism
  • Inactivation, Metabolic
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Nitrobenzenes / pharmacokinetics
  • Nitrophenols / metabolism
  • Nitrophenols / pharmacokinetics*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Glucuronates
  • Nitrobenzenes
  • Nitrophenols
  • p-nitrophenol glucuronide
  • 4-nitrophenyl sulfate
  • 4-nitrophenol