Digestion and absorption of NAD by the small intestine of the rat

J Nutr. 1983 Feb;113(2):412-20. doi: 10.1093/jn/113.2.412.


A number of preparations of varying complexity have been used in an effort to elucidate the reactions by which NAD is hydrolyzed to nicotinamide during intestinal digestion. NAD labeled with 14C in the adenine or pyridine moiety was the substrate used with perfused rat intestine, live rats, perfused live rats, with collection of portal flow, intestinal contents, mucosal tissue, or pancreatic juice. The conclusions reached are that a pyrophosphatase present in the intestinal juice and to a much lesser extent in the pancreatic juice releases 5'-AMP and nicotinamide ribonucleotide. The 5'-AMP was rapidly converted to adenosine then to inosine by bacteria-free intestinal contents. Perfused or intact intestine rapidly hydrolyzed NMN to nicotinamide riboside, which accumulated, but was not absorbed. It was slowly cleaved by an enzyme associated with the mucosal cells to nicotinamide, which was the major if not the only labeled compound absorbed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Digestion*
  • Hydrolysis
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism*
  • Male
  • NAD / metabolism*
  • Niacinamide / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Time Factors


  • NAD
  • Niacinamide