Intestinal alkaline phosphatase: multiple biological roles in maintenance of intestinal homeostasis and modulation by diet


  • Jean-Paul Lallès

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 1079 at Systèmes d'Elevage, Nutrition Animale et Humaine in Saint-Gilles, France
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J-P Lallès, INRA UMR1079, SENAH, Domaine de la Prise, F-35590 Saint-Gilles, France. E-mail:, Phone: +33-223485359, Fax: +33-223485080.


The diverse nature of intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) functions has remained elusive, and it is only recently that four additional major functions of IAP have been revealed. The present review analyzes the earlier literature on the dietary factors modulating IAP activity in light of these new findings. IAP regulates lipid absorption across the apical membrane of enterocytes, participates in the regulation of bicarbonate secretion and of duodenal surface pH, limits bacterial transepithelial passage, and finally controls bacterial endotoxin-induced inflammation by dephosphorylation, thus detoxifying intestinal lipopolysaccharide. Many dietary components, including fat, protein, and carbohydrate, modulate IAP expression or activity and may be combined to sustain a high level of IAP activity. In conclusion, IAP has a pivotal role in intestinal homeostasis and its activity could be increased through the diet. This is especially true in pathological situations (e.g., inflammatory bowel diseases) in which the involvement of commensal bacteria is suspected and when intestinal AP is too low to detoxify a sufficient amount of bacterial lipopolysaccharide.