1. This paper reports an investigation of the effects of semistarvation and starvation on the kinetics of uptake of an amino acid, l-leucine, and a hydrolysis-resistant dipeptide, Gly-Sar, by rings of everted hamster jejunum and ileum in vitro. The concentration range used was 0·1–100 mmol/l. Total uptake, non-mediated uptake and Kt and Vmax. for mediated influx were estimated.
2. At many concentrations, both semistarvation and starvation caused a decrease in uptake of the peptide and the amino acid. Uptake of the peptide was more severely depressed than that of the amino acid. In control animals, the jejunum was the site of maximal uptake of Gly-Sar, and the ileum the site of maximal uptake of leucine. In semistarved and starved animals, the ileum became the site of maximal uptake of Gly-Sar, as it was for leucine. The effects of semistarvation and starvation on uptake were similar whether this was expressed per unit wt. or per unit length, though they were accentuated when expressed per unit length, since the intestine lost weight per unit length.
3. The main effect of semistarvation and starvation on the kinetics of mediated influx of the amino acid and the peptide was to reduce Vmax. in both jejunum and ileum. This effect was compatible with a reduction in the number of mediated transport sites for both the amino acid and the peptide. The observation that mediated influx of the peptide was more severely affected than that of the amino acid supports the hypothesis of the independence of the mechanisms for intestinal uptake of peptides and amino acids.