Lysine transport by in vitro distal rabbit ileum has been investigated by determining (a) transmural fluxes across short-circuited segments of the tissue; (b) accumulation by mucosal strips; and (c) influx from the mucosal solution across the brush border into the epithelium. Net transmural flux of lysine is considerably smaller than that of alanine. However, lysine influx across the brush border and lysine accumulation by mucosal strips are quantitatively comparable to alanine influx and accumulation. Evidence is presented that the "low transport capacity" of rabbit ileum for lysine is due to: (a) a carrier-mediated process responsible for efflux of lysine out of the cell across the serosal and/or lateral membranes that is characterized by a low maximal velocity; and (b) a high "backflux" of lysine out of the cell across the mucosal membrane. A possible explanation for the latter observation is discussed with reference to the relatively low Na dependence of lysine transport across the intestinal brush border.

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