Folate deficiency results in alteration in intestinal brush border membrane composition and enzyme activities in weanling rats

Amika Singla, Susmita Kaushik, Jyotdeep Kaur

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4 Scopus citations


Folic acid deficiency is the most prevalent vitamin deficiency throughout the world and its effect on brush border membrane composition has not been studied earlier. We investigated the effect of folate deficiency on the structure and function of the intestinal brush border membrane. Various brush border enzyme activities, membrane sugars and lipids were evaluated in two groups of weanling male albino rats after 3 mo of feeding control and folate deficient diets. Except sucrase, all the other three enzymes, viz., alkaline phosphatase, leucine amino peptidase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase showed decrease in activity in rats fed folate-deficient diets. Among sugars, hexoses and hexosamines showed significant decline in amount whereas sialic acid content showed great increase in brush border membrane of folate-deficient rats as compared to controls. Furthermore, there was a significant reduction in cholesterol, phospholipids, triglycerides, cerebrosides and fucolipids in the group fed the folate-deficient diet. Our study suggests that folate deficiency results in altered enzyme activities, lipid and sugar composition of intestinal brush border membrane. Such changes might reflect the underlying cause of the gastrointestinal disturbances observed in folate deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2006



  • Brush border enzymes
  • Brush border membrane
  • Folate deficiency
  • Lipid composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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