1. A double-lumen perfusion technique was used to study the effect of a wide range of concentrations of the dipeptide glycyl-l-alanine and its constituent amino acids on water and electrolyte absorption from iso-osmotic solutions in the upper jejunum of normal human subjects.
2. There was no significant absorption of water and electrolytes from sodium chloride solution (150 mmol/l) but the presence of the dipeptide or its constituent amino acids stimulated water and electrolyte absorption.
3. Water absorption reached a peak at increasing amino acid and dipeptide concentrations and then tailed off. Our data suggest that the tailing off is not solely due to the diminished sodium content of the solutions.
4. During perfusion of the dipeptide-sodium chloride and amino acid-sodium chloride solutions solute and water were absorbed as an iso-osmotic solution. Analysis of the results indicates that this could occur at high dipeptide concentrations only if the majority of the dipeptide enters the cell intact.