Gut expression and regulation of FAT/CD36: Possible role in fatty acid transport in rat enterocytes

M. I.N. Chen, Yingkui Yang, Evan Braunstein, Keith E. Georgeson, Carroll M. Harmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Fatty acid translocase (FAT)/CD36 is one of several putative plasma membrane long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) transport proteins; however, its role in intestinal absorption of LCFA is unknown. We hypothesized that FAT/CD36 would be differentially expressed along the longitudinal axis of the gut and during intestinal development, suggesting specificity of function. We found that intestinal mucosal FAT/CD36 mRNA levels varied by anatomic location along the longitudinal gut axis: stomach 45 ± 7, duodenum 173 ± 29, jejunum 238 ± 17, ileum 117 ± 14, and colon 9 ± 1% (means ± SE with 18S mRNA as control). FAT/CD36 protein levels were also higher in proximal compared with distal intestinal mucosa. Mucosal FAT/CD36 mRNA was also regulated during intestinal maturation, with a fourfold increase from neonatal to adult animals. In addition, FAT/CD36 mRNA levels and enterocyte LCFA uptake were rapidly downregulated by intraduodenal oleate infusion. These findings suggest that FAT/CD36 plays a role in the uptake of LCFA by small intestinal enterocytes. This may have important implications in understanding fatty acid absorption in human physiological and pathophysiological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E916-E923
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5 44-5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Fatty acid translocase/CD36
  • Intestine
  • Transport of fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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