Adaptations of intestinal nutrient transport to chronic caloric restriction in mice

D. M. Casirola, B. Rifkin, W. Tsai, R. R. Ferraris

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1 Scopus citations


-Lifelong caloric restriction increases median and maximum life span and retards the aging process in many organ systems of rodents. Because the small intestine absorbs a reduced amount of nutrients each day, does lifelong caloric restriction induce adaptations in intestinal nutrient transport? We initially compared intestinal transport of sugars and amino acids between 24-mo-old mice allowed free access to food [ad libitum (AL)] and those provided a calorically restricted [40% less than ad libitum (CE)] diet since 3 mo of age. We found that CK mice had significantly greater transport rates for D-glucose, D-fructose, and several amino acids and had significantly lower villus heights. Total intestinal absorptive capacities for D-glucose, D-fructose, and L-proline were each 40-50% greater in CR mice; absorptive capacity normalized to metabolic mass (body weight0-75) was -80% greater in CR mice. Comparison of uptakes in aged AL and CR mice with previously published results in young AL mice suggests that caloric restriction delays age-related decreases in nutrient transport. In contrast to published studies in hibernation and starvation, chronic caloric restriction enhances not only uptake per milligram but also uptake per centimeter. We then switched 24-mo-old AL mice to a calorie-restricted diet for 1 mo and found that short-term caloric restriction has no effect on intestinal nutrient transport, intestinal mass, and total absorptive capacity. Thus chronic but not short-term caloric restriction increases intestinal nutrient transport rates in aged mice, and the main mechanism underlying these increases is enhanced transport rates per unit intestinal tissue weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G201-G210
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology (medical)


  • Aging
  • D-sugars
  • Diet
  • Intestinal mucosa
  • L-amino acids
  • Metabolism
  • Nutrition


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