Papers And Originals

Formylation of Folate as Step in Physiological Folate Absorption

Br Med J 1973; 2 doi: (Published 09 June 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;2:588
  1. Janet Perry,
  2. I. Chanarin


    Oral administration of folate analogues to rats is followed by a rise in plasma folate detectable only by micro-biological assay with Lactobacillus casei, suggesting methylation of folate during absorption. When using the everted rat gut technique with folate (PteGlu), dihydrofolate (H2PteGlu), or tetrahydrofolate (H4PteGlu) on the mucosal surface formyl folate (10-CHO-PteGlu, 10-CHO-H4PteGlu, 5-CHO-H4PteGlu) and methylfolate (5-CH3-H4PteGlu) are recovered from the serosal fluid. This indicates that absorption of PteGlu is followed by formylation and that the formyl group is further reduced to methyl, 5-CH3-H4PteGlu passing on to portal blood.