Urinary excretion of oligosaccharides induced by galactose given orally or intravenously

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The effect of oral administration of galactose, lactose, and sucrose and intravenous injection of galactose on the urinary excretion of blood-group-active oligosaccharides has been studied. Galactose given either as the free sugar, a glycoside (lactose) or a constituent of normal diet was an absolute requirement for the formation and excretion of A-trisaccharide, B-trisaccharide and 2'-fucosylgalactose in blood group A, B and O(H) secretors, respectively. Great individual variation was seen in the amounts of galactose-dependent oligosaccharides excreted. Injection of galactose resulted in excretion of 3-59% of the amount of oligosaccharide formed after oral administration to the same individual. The mean ratio A-trisaccharide/B-trisaccharide was 2.7 in four blood-group-A1B secretors and 0.22 in three A2B secretors and can thus serve as a parameter for chemical differentiation between the two blood groups. The excretion of larger blood-group-active oligosaccharides, including the A-pentasaccharide, the B-pentasaccharide and lactodifucotetraose, that are normal components in urine from, respectively, starved A, B, and H secretors, was about the same after oral administration of galactose or lactose. The B-trisaccharide was the only oligosaccharide detected in plasma after oral galactose administration to a blood-group-B secretor individual. The concentration was 0.38 mg/l of plasma.


  • Alan Chester
  • Peter Hallgren
  • Arne Lundblad
  • Lisbeth Messeter
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Hematology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-392
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1979
Publication categoryResearch