Age-related changes in sucrase and lactase activity in the small intestine of 3- and 10-week-old obese mice (C57bl/6jobob)

Carlos A. Flores, Jorge Bezerra, Sergio A. Bustamante, Toshinao Goda, P. Macdonal, Murray L. Kaplan, Otakar Koldovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The relationship between obesity and the digestion of carbohydrates is poorly understood. Data in humans have provided conflicting results. Studies using the obese mouse (C57BL/6Jobob) suggest that obesity is associated with increased activity of intestinal a-disaccharidases. To evaluate the developmental pattern of these enzyme activities in obesity, we determined the activity of sucrase and lactase in the small intestine of genetically obese mice (C57BL/6Jobob) and lean littermates at 3 and 10 weeks of age. Sucrase and lactase activities were measured on intestinal homogenates from segments of the small intestine in mice maintained on standard laboratory diets during the postweaning period. Results were expressed as specific activity and total activity per intestinal segment. Obese mice did not differ from lean littermates in body weight at 3 weeks of age, but exhibited increased protein content in the proximal small intestine. Sucrase specific activity was significantly higher in the obese mice at 3 weeks of age in all intestinal segments. Sucrase total activity showed a similar pattern. At 10 weeks of age, body weights of obese mice were substantially greater than the lean littermates. Sucrase specific and total activities were also greater in the obese mice at 10 weeks of age. Lactase specific activity, however, was similar in both obese and lean mice at both ages studied. Lactase total activity was greater in the obese mice, consistent with their greater intestinal mass. These observations demonstrate that changes in the intestinal sucrase activity of the obese mouse precede the development of excessive body weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • Disaccharidases
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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