Folic acid absorption was studied in anesthetized dogs by determining the amount and chemical nature of folate in venous blood emerging from isolated intestinal segments containing free folic acid and/or pteroylpolyglutamates of a known chain length. Chromatographically pure test materials placed in the lumen were prepared by unambiguous solid phase synthetic methods. This synthetic procedure not only yields compounds of known structure, it also provides a means by which glutamic acid residues at any given position in the gamma glutamyl chain can be made radioactive. For example, teropterin (pteroyltriglutamate) was synthesized in such a way that 14C was present only in the middle glutamic acid unit. Suitable placement of label permitted assessment of the extent of peptide cleavage. The action of plasma conjugase was inhibited by copper chloride. Plasma samples were analyzed by Lactobacillus casei and Streptococcus faecalis assay, by column chromatography, and by quantitative measurement of pteridine-bound radioactivity.
C. M. Baugh, C. L. Krumdieck, H. J. Baker, C. E. Butterworth Jr.