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Modulation of intestinal calcium and phosphate transport in young goats fed a nitrogen- and/or calcium-reduced diet.

The British journal of nutrition (2015-10-08)
Kristin Elfers, Mirja R Wilkens, Gerhard Breves, Alexandra S Muscher-Banse
ABSTRACT

Feeding ruminants a reduced N diet is a common approach to reduce N output based on rumino-hepatic circulation. However, a reduction in N intake caused massive changes in Ca and inorganic phosphate (Pi) homoeostasis in goats. Although a single dietary Ca reduction stimulated intestinal Ca absorption in a calcitriol-dependent manner, a concomitant reduction of Ca and N supply led to a decrease in calcitriol, and therefore a modulation of intestinal Ca and Pi absorption. The aim of this study was to examine the potential effects of dietary N or Ca reduction separately on intestinal Ca and Pi transport in young goats. Animals were allocated to a control, N-reduced, Ca-reduced or combined N- and Ca-reduced diet for about 6-8 weeks, whereby N content was reduced by 25 % compared with recommendations. In Ussing chamber experiments, intestinal Ca flux rates significantly decreased in goats fed a reduced N diet, whereas Pi flux rates were unaffected. In contrast, a dietary Ca reduction stimulated Ca flux rates and decreased Pi flux rates. The combined dietary N and Ca reduction withdrew the stimulating effect of dietary Ca reduction on Ca flux rates. The expression of Ca-transporting proteins decreased with a reduced N diet too, whereas Pi-transporting proteins were unaffected. In conclusion, a dietary N reduction decreased intestinal Ca transport by diminishing Ca-transporting proteins, which became clear during simultaneous N and Ca reduction. Therefore, N supply in young ruminant nutrition is of special concern for intestinal Ca transport.

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