The effects of inflammatory changes on the absorption of different-sized probes and their permeability ratios are poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of a pharmacological agent on the permeability of the gut mucosa to saccharidic probes of larger and smaller molecular weight. Permeability was assessed by half-hourly urinary excretion of a combined dose of d-mannitol, l-rhamnose and lactulose following consumption of a single 600 mg dose of aspirin and compared with a placebo in a cross-over study in 20 healthy female volunteers. The temporal patterns of excretion of all probes were bimodal, being best fitted by polynomial functions. The relatively small early peak was evident for at least 4 h for smaller sugars, but was less evident with lactulose, being overshadowed by a larger second peak. These conclusions were further supported by separate analyses of the segments of the temporal plots between 2.5 and 4 h and between 4.5 and 6 h. The forms of these curves did not change significantly following dosing with aspirin. A greater proportion of the total dose of mannitol than rhamnose was excreted over the collection period. Following the consumption of aspirin, the cumulative rate of excretion of the smaller sugars (i.e. mannitol and rhamnose) was significantly reduced whereas that of lactulose was increased over the 6 h collection period. Aspirin has opposite effects on the absorption of larger and smaller probes, influencing the outcome of the test. These results have important consequences for the design and comparison of clinical tests of permeability.
Naturally occurring deoxy sugar that is found primarily in plants and some bacteria