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Excretion of purine derivatives by ruminants: recycling of allantoin into the rumen via saliva and its fate in the gut



Excretion of purine derivatives by ruminants: recycling of allantoin into the rumen via saliva and its fate in the gut



British Journal of Nutrition 63(2): 197-205



The saliva of sheep was shown to contain significant concentrations of uric acid (16 (SD 4.5) micromole/l) and allantoin (120 (SD 16.4) micromole/l), sufficient to recycle purine derivatives equivalent to about 0.10 of the normal urinary excretion. When allantoin was incubated in vitro in rumen fluid, it was degraded at a rate sufficient to ensure complete destruction of recycled allantoin. In a series of experiments in which allantoin was infused into the rumen of sheep fed normally, or into the rumen or abomasum of sheep and the rumen of cattle completely nourished by intragastric infusion of volatile fatty acids and casein, no additional allantoin was recovered in the urine. These losses were probably due to the degradation of allantoin by micro-organisms associated with die digestive tract. It is concluded that all allantoin and uric acid recycled to the rumen via saliva will be similarly degraded. Therefore, the use of urinary excretion of purine derivatives as an estimator of the rumen microbial biomass available to ruminants will need to be corrected for such losses.

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Accession: 001831135

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2110470

DOI: 10.1079/bjn19900107



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