Journal of comparative physiology. B, Biochemical, systemic, and environmental physiology

Absorption of ascorbic acid and ascorbic sulfate and ascorbate metabolism in common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.).

PMID 2097301


Ascorbate metabolism was analyzed in fasted common carp and carp offered diets lacking ascorbic acid or supplemented with ascorbic acid (AA) or ascorbic sulfate (AS). Ascorbic acid and ascorbic sulfate were analyzed in the contents collected from various parts of the digestive tract. The major site of the dietary ascorbate absorption was located in the first 20% of the anterior intestine region (58.7 +/- 10.2%), whereas absorption increased to 94.3 +/- 1.9% (in the whole gut). Considerable secretion of ascorbate into the initial part of the intestine was found (71 micrograms AA.g-1 dry food) in fish offered the diet lacking ascorbate, but this amount was completely reabsorbed in the following portions of the intestine. AS was concentrated in the contents of the digestive tract and the external marker method revealed no absorption of AS from the intestine. In fish fed the AA-supplemented diet, the concentration of ascorbate in plasma, hepatopancreas, kidney, intestine, spleen, and brain was significantly (P less than 0.01) higher than in similar tissues from the other groups, suggesting that ascorbic sulfate hydrolysis was ineffective. Small amounts of AS were found in the intestine and spleen of fish fed a diet supplemented with AS. Ascorbate analysis in the whole fish allowed the estimate of the catabolic rate of fasting and scorbutic-diet-fed fish, which amounted to 0.7% and 1.46% daily of the ascorbate body pool, respectively. There was no indication that ascorbic sulfate sulfohydrolase activity was induced in hepatic, kidney, or intestinal tissue of fish offered a diet with AS in comparison to other groups. It seems unlikely that cyprinid fish are able to utilize ascorbic sulfate as a vitamin C source, and thus resemble scurvy-prone mammals in this respect.