Caecal absorption of vitexin-2-O-xyloside and its aglycone apigenin, in the rat

Donato Angelino, Mark Berhow, Paolino Ninfali, Elizabeth H. Jeffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The in vivo bioavailability of the flavone-C-glycosides has been little studied compared to their O-glycoside analogues, which are both more common in nature and considered more easily hydrolyzed than C-glycosides, by both enterocytes and gut microbiota. In this study, we used vitexin-2-O-xyloside (VOX), an apigenin-8-C-glucoside-2-O-xyloside, purified from seeds of Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris cicla), to investigate VOX absorption into portal blood compared to its aglycone, apigenin. We used a rat model in which we ligated the ileo- and colo-caecal junctions, then administered apigenin or VOX directly into the caecum. Blood samples were drawn from the portal vein at timed intervals over 40 min. The kinetic profile of appearance in portal blood of the compounds and their metabolites was evaluated by HPLC-ESI-MS. Apigenin was found in portal blood both as the aglycone and as an apigenin-glucuronide derivative. The VOX was found unchanged and as a reduced monoglycoside, which underwent glucuronidation. By collecting the bile, we confirmed that the liver received unchanged VOX, which was returned to the gut by enterohepatic recirculation for reabsorption from the ileum. The amount of apigenin and VOX remaining in the caecum accounted for ∼15% and ∼26%, respectively. These data show for the first time that the C-glycoside VOX is absorbed unchanged and undergoes enterohepatic recirculation in addition to hydrolysis to the monoglycoside, reduction and conjugation to form a bioavailable glucuronide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1339-1345
Number of pages7
JournalFood and Function
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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