E S Debnam

University College London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (95)398.36 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Despite the importance of extracellular phosphate in many essential biological processes, the mechanisms of phosphate transport across the epithelium of different intestinal segments remain unclear. We have used an in vitro method to investigate phosphate transport at the brush border membrane (BBM) of intact intestinal segments and an in vivo method to study transepithelial phosphate absorption. We have used micromolar phosphate concentrations known to favor NaPi-IIb-mediated transport, and millimolar concentrations that are representative of the levels we have measured in luminal contents, to compare the extent of Na+-dependent and Na+-independent phosphate transport along the rat duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and proximal and distal colon. Our findings confirm that overall the jejunum is the main site of phosphate absorption; however, at millimolar concentrations, absorption shows ~30% Na+-dependency, suggesting that transport is unlikely to be mediated exclusively by the Na+-dependent NaPi-IIb co-transporter. In the ileum, studies in vitro confirmed that relatively low levels of phosphate transport occur at the BBM of this segment, although significant Na+-dependent transport was detected using millimolar levels of phosphate in vivo. Since NaPi-IIb protein is not detectable at the rat ileal BBM, our data suggest the presence of an as yet unidentified Na+-dependent uptake pathway in this intestinal segment in vivo. In addition, we have confirmed that the colon has a significant capacity for phosphate absorption. Overall, this study highlights the complexities of intestinal phosphate absorption that can be revealed using different phosphate concentrations and experimental techniques.
    01/2015; 3(1). DOI:10.14814/phy2.12281
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    ABSTRACT: Balancing systemic iron levels within narrow limits is critical for maintaining human health. There are no known pathways to eliminate excess iron from the body and therefore iron homeostasis is maintained by modifying dietary absorption so that it matches daily obligatory losses. Several dietary factors can modify iron absorption. Polyphenols are plentiful in human diet and many compounds, including quercetin - the most abundant dietary polyphenol - are potent iron chelators. The aim of this study was to investigate the acute and longer-term effects of quercetin on intestinal iron metabolism. Acute exposure of rat duodenal mucosa to quercetin increased apical iron uptake but decreased subsequent basolateral iron efflux into the circulation. Quercetin binds iron between its 3-hydroxyl and 4-carbonyl groups and methylation of the 3-hydroxyl group negated both the increase in apical uptake and the inhibition of basolateral iron release, suggesting that the acute effects of quercetin on iron transport were due to iron chelation. In longer-term studies, rats were administered quercetin by a single gavage and iron transporter expression measured 18 h later. Duodenal FPN expression was decreased in quercetin-treated rats. This effect was recapitulated in Caco-2 cells exposed to quercetin for 18 h. Reporter assays in Caco-2 cells indicated that repression of FPN by quercetin was not a transcriptional event but might be mediated by miRNA interaction with the FPN 3'UTR. Our study highlights a novel mechanism for the regulation of iron bioavailability by dietary polyphenols. Potentially, diets rich in polyphenols might be beneficial for patients groups at risk of iron loading by limiting the rate of intestinal iron absorption.
    PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e102900. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0102900 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    Joanne Marks · Edward S Debnam · Robert J Unwin
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of review For a number of years, there has been increasing interest in the concept of directly targeting intestinal phosphate transport to control hyperphosphatemia in chronic kidney disease. However, progress has been slow due to the paucity of information on the mechanisms involved in intestinal phosphate absorption. This editorial highlights the most recent developments in our understanding of this process and the role of the intestine in the maintenance of phosphate balance. Recent findings Recent studies in NaPi-IIb knockout mice have confirmed that this transport protein plays a significant role in intestinal phosphate absorption and is critical in the proposed feed-forward mechanism between the small intestine and kidney, which helps to maintain normal phosphate balance and steady-state plasma phosphate concentrations. In addition, renal failure-induced hyperphosphatemia is attenuated in NaPi-IIb knockout mice, confirming that NaPi-IIb is a suitable target in the prevention and treatment of hyperphosphatemia. Summary Recent findings suggest that consumption of processed foods containing phosphate preservatives may lead to excessive phosphate exposure (if not overload), toxicity, and cardiovascular disease in the general population, as well as in patients with declining renal function. Therefore, establishing more effective ways of targeting the intestine to limit dietary phosphate absorption could have wide-reaching health benefits.
    Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension 05/2013; 22(4). DOI:10.1097/MNH.0b013e3283621310 · 3.86 Impact Factor
  • Tung Po Wong · Ka Yan Ho · Enders K W Ng · Edward S Debnam · Po Sing Leung
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    ABSTRACT: The inhibitory effects of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-ANG II-angiotensin type 1 (AT(1)) receptor axis on jejunal glucose uptake and the reduced expression of this system in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) have been documented previously. The ACE2-ANG-(1-7)-Mas receptor axis is thought to oppose the actions of the ACE-ANG II-AT(1) receptor axis in heart, liver, and kidney. However, the possible involvement of the ACE2-ANG-(1-7)-Mas receptor system on enhanced jejunal glucose transport in T1DM has yet to be determined. Rat everted jejunum and Caco-2 cells were used to determine the effects of ANG-(1-7) on glucose uptake and to study the ACE2-ANG-(1-7)-Mas receptor signaling pathway. Expression of target gene and protein in jejunal enterocytes and human Caco-2 cells were quantified using real-time PCR and Western blotting. T1DM increased jejunal protein and mRNA expression of ACE2 (by 59 and 173%, respectively) and Mas receptor (by 55 and 100%, respectively) in jejunum. One millimolar ANG-(1-7) reduced glucose uptake in jejunum and Caco-2 cells by 30.6 and 30.3%, respectively, effects that were abolished following addition of 1 μM A-779 (a Mas receptor blocker) or 1 μM GF-109203X (protein kinase C inhibitor) to incubation buffer for jejunum or Caco-2 cells, respectively. Finally, intravenous treatment of animals with ANG-(1-7) significantly improved oral glucose tolerance in T1DM but not control animals. In conclusion, enhanced activity of the ACE2-ANG-(1-7)-Mas receptor axis in jejunal enterocytes is likely to moderate the T1DM-induced increase in jejunal glucose uptake resulting from downregulation of the ACE-ANG II-AT(1) receptor axis. Therefore, altered activity of both ACE and ACE2 systems during diabetes will determine the overall rate of glucose transport across the jejunal epithelium.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 07/2012; 303(5):E669-81. DOI:10.1152/ajpendo.00562.2011 · 3.79 Impact Factor
  • Planta Medica 07/2012; 78(11). DOI:10.1055/s-0032-1320309 · 2.15 Impact Factor
  • FASEB Journal, 1068.18; 01/2012
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    ABSTRACT: The secoiridoids 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethanol-elenolic acid (3,4-DHPEA-EA) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethanol-elenolic acid dialdehyde (3,4-DHPEA-EDA) account for approximately 55 % of the phenolic content of olive oil and may be partly responsible for its reported human health benefits. We have investigated the absorption and metabolism of these secoiridoids in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Both 3,4-DHPEA-EDA and 3,4-DHPEA-EA were relatively stable under gastric conditions, only undergoing limited hydrolysis. Both secoiridoids were transferred across a human cellular model of the small intestine (Caco-2 cells). However, no glucuronide conjugation was observed for either secoiridoid during transfer, although some hydroxytyrosol and homovanillic alcohol were formed. As Caco-2 cells are known to express only limited metabolic activity, we also investigated the absorption and metabolism of secoiridoids in isolated, perfused segments of the jejunum and ileum. Here, both secoiridoids underwent extensive metabolism, most notably a two-electron reduction and glucuronidation during the transfer across both the ileum and jejunum. Unlike Caco-2 cells, the intact small-intestinal segments contain NADPH-dependent aldo-keto reductases, which reduce the aldehyde carbonyl group of 3,4-DHPEA-EA and one of the two aldeydic carbonyl groups present on 3,4-DHPEA-EDA. These reduced forms are then glucuronidated and represent the major in vivo small-intestinal metabolites of the secoiridoids. In agreement with the cell studies, perfusion of the jejunum and ileum also yielded hydroxytyrosol and homovanillic alcohol and their respective glucuronides. We suggest that the reduced and glucuronidated forms represent novel physiological metabolites of the secoiridoids that should be pursued in vivo and investigated for their biological activity.
    The British journal of nutrition 03/2011; 105(11):1607-18. DOI:10.1017/S000711451000526X · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Erythropoietin is produced by the kidney and stimulates erythropoiesis; however, in chronic renal disease its levels are reduced and patients develop anemia that is treatable with iron and recombinant hormone. The mechanism by which erythropoietin improves iron homeostasis is still unclear, but it may involve suppression of the iron regulatory peptide hepcidin and/or a direct effect on intestinal iron absorption. To investigate these possibilities, we used the well-established 5/6th nephrectomy rat model of chronic renal failure with or without human recombinant erythropoietin treatment. Monolayers of human intestinal Caco-2 cells were also treated with erythropoietin to measure any direct effects of this hormone on intestinal iron transport. Nephrectomy increased hepatic hepcidin expression and decreased intestinal iron absorption; these effects were restored to levels found in sham-operated rats on erythropoietin treatment of the rats with renal failure. In Caco-2 cells, the addition of erythropoietin significantly increased the expression of apical divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) and basolateral ferroportin and, consequently, iron transport across the monolayer. Taken together, our results show that erythropoietin not only exerts a powerful inhibitory action on the expression of hepcidin, thus permitting the release of iron from reticuloendothelial macrophages and intestinal enterocytes, but also acts directly on enterocytes to increase iron absorption.
    Kidney International 10/2010; 78(7):660-7. DOI:10.1038/ki.2010.217 · 8.56 Impact Factor
  • Joanne Marks · Edward S Debnam · Robert J Unwin
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    ABSTRACT: Transport of phosphate across intestinal and renal epithelia is essential for normal phosphate balance, yet we know less about the mechanisms and regulation of intestinal phosphate absorption than we do about phosphate handling by the kidney. Recent studies have provided strong evidence that the sodium-phosphate cotransporter NaPi-IIb is responsible for sodium-dependent phosphate absorption by the small intestine, and it might be that this protein can link changes in dietary phosphate to altered renal phosphate excretion to maintain phosphate balance. Evidence is also emerging that specific regions of the small intestine adapt differently to acute or chronic changes in dietary phosphate load and that phosphatonins inhibit both renal and intestinal phosphate transport. This review summarizes our current understanding of the mechanisms and control of intestinal phosphate absorption and how it may be related to renal phosphate reabsorption; it also considers the ways in which the gut could be targeted to prevent, or limit, hyperphosphatemia in chronic and end-stage renal failure.
    AJP Renal Physiology 08/2010; 299(2):F285-96. DOI:10.1152/ajprenal.00508.2009 · 3.25 Impact Factor
  • Journal of American Society of Nephrology, 6A; 01/2010
  • Genes & Nutrition., S74; 01/2010
  • Journal of American Society of Nephrology, 695B; 01/2010
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    Tung Po Wong · Edward S Debnam · Po Sing Leung
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    ABSTRACT: Streptozotocin-induced (Type 1) diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in rats promotes jejunal glucose transport, but the trigger for this response remains unclear. Our recent work using euglycemic rats has implicated the enterocyte renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in control of sodium-dependent glucose transporter (SGLT1)-mediated glucose uptake across the jejunal brush border membrane (BBM). The aim of the present study was to examine whether expression of enterocyte RAS components is influenced by T1DM. The effects of mucosal addition of angiotensin II (AII) on [14C]-D-glucose uptake by everted diabetic jejunum was also determined. Two-week diabetes caused a fivefold increase in blood glucose level and reduced mRNA and protein expression of AII type 1 (AT1) and AT2 receptors and angiotensin-converting enzyme in isolated jejunal enterocytes. Angiotensinogen expression was, however, stimulated by diabetes while renin was not detected in either control or diabetic enterocytes. Diabetes stimulated glucose uptake into everted jejunum by 58% and increased the BBM expression of SGLT1 and facilitated glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) proteins, determined by Western blotting by 25% and 135%, respectively. Immunohistochemistry confirmed an enhanced BBM expression of GLUT2 in diabetes and also showed that this was due to translocation of the transporter from the basolateral membrane to BBM. AII (5 μM) or L-162313 (1 μM), a nonpeptide AII analog, decreased glucose uptake by 18% and 24%, respectively, in diabetic jejunum. This inhibitory action was fully accountable by an action on SGLT1-mediated transport and was abolished by the AT1 receptor antagonist losartan (1 μM). The decreased inhibitory action of AII on in vitro jejunal glucose uptake in diabetes compared with that noted previously in jejunum from normal animals is likely to be due to reduced RAS expression in diabetic enterocytes, together with a disproportionate increase in GLUT2, compared with SGLT1 expression at the BBM.
    AJP Cell Physiology 07/2009; 297(3):C601-10. DOI:10.1152/ajpcell.00135.2009 · 3.78 Impact Factor
  • Havovi Chichger · Joanne Marks · Edward Debnam · Robert Unwin
    Proceedings of the Physiological Society, PC35; 01/2009
  • Journal of American Society of Nephrology, 286A; 01/2009
  • Joanne Marks · Linda J Churchill · Edward S Debnam · Robert J Unwin
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    ABSTRACT: The role of putative humoral factors, known as phosphatonins, in phosphate homeostasis and the relationship between phosphate handling by the kidney and gastrointestinal tract are incompletely understood. Matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein (MEPE), one of several candidate phosphatonins, promotes phosphaturia, but whether it also affects intestinal phosphate absorption is unknown. Here, using the in situ intestinal loop technique, we demonstrated that short-term infusion of MEPE inhibits phosphate absorption in the jejunum but not the duodenum. Simultaneous measurement of urinary phosphate excretion suggests that the phosphaturic action of MEPE correlates with a significant reduction in the protein levels of the renal sodium-phosphate co-transporter NaPi-IIa in the proximal convoluted tubules of the outer renal cortex, assessed by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. This short-term inhibitory effect of MEPE on renal and intestinal phosphate handling occurred without any changes in circulating levels of parathyroid hormone, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3), or fibroblast growth factor 23. Taken together, these findings suggest that MEPE is a candidate phosphatonin involved in phosphate homeostasis, acting in both the kidney and the gastrointestinal tract.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 12/2008; 19(12):2313-20. DOI:10.1681/ASN.2008030315 · 9.34 Impact Factor
  • E S Debnam · J Marks · R J Unwin
    Kidney International 03/2008; 73(3):361-2; author reply 362. DOI:10.1038/sj.ki.5002670 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    A.R. Michell · E.S. Debnam · R.J. Unwin
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    ABSTRACT: The concept of a regulatory link between the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys is not new. The idea that dietary intake and composition can affect renal function is perhaps self-evident, but defining this relationship, especially in terms of sensors and effectors, is proving more difficult. That the gastrointestinal tract can exert some control over renal function was strengthened by the early observation that oral ingestion of a sodium chloride load has a greater natriuretic effect than when the same amount is given intravenously. This effect was subsequently shown to be independent of changes in aldosterone and atrial natriuretic peptide, although not necessarily angiotensin-II. However, the nature of any intestinal natriuretic peptide remains uncertain, despite suggestions that various gut-derived hormones, including guanylin and uroguanylin, may be involved. There is also an emerging concept of gastrointestinal taste and taste-like receptor mechanisms present throughout the gastrointestinal tract, which may govern the excretion of other key electrolytes, including potassium and phosphate. The evidence for gut sensors of nutrients such as proteins, amino acids, glucose, and acid is now becoming more established. Thus, we can anticipate the existence and eventual characterization of several gut ion sensors.
    Annual Review of Physiology 02/2008; 70(1):379-403. DOI:10.1146/annurev.physiol.69.040705.141330 · 18.51 Impact Factor
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    Tung Po Wong · Edward S Debnam · Po Sing Leung
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence that locally produced angiotensin AII (AII) regulates the function of many tissues, but the involvement of enterocyte-derived AII in the control of intestinal transport is unknown. This study examined whether there is a local renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in rat villus enterocytes and assessed the effects of AII on SGLT1-dependent glucose transport across the brush border membrane (BBM). Gene and protein expression of angiotensinogen, ACE, and AT(1) and AT(2) receptors were studied in jejunal and ileal enterocytes using immunocytochemistry, Western blotting and RT-PCR. Mucosal uptake of d-[(14)C]glucose by everted intestinal sleeves before and after addition of AII (0-100 nm) to the mucosal buffer was measured in the presence or absence of the AT(1) receptor antagonist losartan (1 microm). Immunocytochemistry revealed the expression of angiotensinogen, ACE, and AT(1) and AT(2) receptors in enterocytes; immunoreactivity of AT(1) receptor and angiotensinogen proteins was especially pronounced at the BBM. Expression of angiotensinogen and AT(1) and AT(2) receptors, but not ACE, was greater in the ileum than the jejunum. Addition of AII to mucosal buffer inhibited phlorizin-sensitive (SGLT1-dependent) jejunal glucose uptake in a rapid and dose-dependent manner and reduced the expression of SGLT1 at the BBM. Losartan attenuated the inhibitory action of AII on glucose uptake. AII did not affect jejunal uptake of l-leucine. The detection of RAS components at the enterocyte BBM, and the rapid inhibition of SGLT1-dependent glucose uptake by luminal AII suggest that AII secretion exerts autocrine control of intestinal glucose transport.
    The Journal of Physiology 11/2007; 584(Pt 2):613-23. DOI:10.1113/jphysiol.2007.138578 · 5.04 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
398.36 Total Impact Points


  • 2005–2015
    • University College London
      • • Department of Neuroscience, Physiology, and Pharmacology
      • • Division of Biosciences
      • • Department of Clinical Physiology
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1997
    • University of Leeds
      Leeds, England, United Kingdom
  • 1991–1997
    • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1992
    • University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1990
    • Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
      Springfield, Illinois, United States