The effect of intravenous vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) on normal transport mechanisms in the human jejunum in vivo was examined with the triple-lumen, steady-state perfusion technique. By using special test solutions that revealed different aspects of jejunal transport, we were able to evaluate the effect of VIP on specific transport processes, such as active bicarbonate absorption, active chloride secretion, and passive absorption or secretion of sodium chloride. At an infusion rate of 200 pmol/kg per h, VIP inhibited active bicarbonate absorption by approximately 42%, stimulated active chloride secretion to a slight extent, and slightly reduced passive sodium chloride absorption. A larger dose of VIP, 400 pmol/kg per h, had essentially the same effect on active bicarbonate absorption and active chloride secretion, but it markedly depressed passive sodium chloride absorption and also inhibited passive secretion induced by mannitol. VIP reduced the lumen-to-plasma unidirectional sodium and chloride flux rates, while the plasma-to-lumen flux rates were decreased to a lesser extent or remained unchanged. The potential difference became more lumen-negative with VIP, but the sodium diffusion and glucose-stimulated potential were not affected. We conclude that the major effect of VIP in the human jejunum is to decrease the normal absorption of water and electrolytes--not only active bicarbonate-mediated absorption, but also the passive absorption in response to osmotic forces generated by active or facilitated absorptive processes. Although an increase in chloride secretion does occur, this does not appear to be of major importance.
G R Davis, C A Santa Ana, S G Morawski, J S Fordtran