Absorption and metabolism of orally administered collagen hydrolysates evaluated by the vascularly perfused rat intestine and liver in situ

Biomed Res. 2018;39(1):1-11. doi: 10.2220/biomedres.39.1.


A number of studies have shown that oral administration of collagen hydrolysate (CH) results in the absorption of di- and tri-peptides. In order to understand the dynamics of CH absorption and metabolism, molecular profiles of hydroxyproline (Hyp) and Hyp-containing peptides (HCPs) were analyzed by in situ perfusion of rat intestine and liver. The total amount of absorbed HCPs during 1 h of perfusion was 16.6 μmol, which was significantly higher than that of free Hyp (6.6 μmol). In addition, HCPs were also reliably detected in hepatic perfusate at the level higher than free Hyp. Thus, the results demonstrated that CH is absorbed predominantly as peptides, which subsequently enter systemic circulation. Size exclusion chromatography showed that perfusates include significant amount of HCPs larger than tripeptides, leading us to analyze these peptides in detail. Mass spectrometric analysis of intestinal perfusate finally identified three CH-derived peptides, which are surprisingly large as food-derived circulating peptides. Peptide quantitation by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) revealed that di- and tri-peptides, which are previously identified as major peptides in circulating blood, comprise only a part of HCPs in intestinal and liver perfusate. Finally, analysis of portal vein blood revealed that the larger peptides, such as pentadecapeptide identified in this study, could be absorbed in vivo. Taken all together, this study showed that peptides which are larger than tripeptide could reach to the circulation system after administration of CH, revealing previously unknown dynamics of absorption of CH.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Collagen / administration & dosage
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • Hydrolysis
  • Hydroxyproline / metabolism
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Peptide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Rats


  • Peptides
  • Collagen
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • Hydroxyproline