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Induced Growth and Maturation of the Gastrointestinal Tract After Phaseolus vulgaris Lectin Exposure in Suckling Rats

Publiceringsår: 2005
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 195-203
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition - Jpgn
Volym: 41
Nummer: August
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


Objectives: In mammals, the postnatal development of the

gastrointestinal tract is characterized by vast structural and

functional changes. Using a suckling rat model, we investigated

whether red kidney bean lectin, phytohemagglutinin (PHA),

a potent gut mitogen in adult rats, can accelerate the growth and

maturation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Methods: At either 10 or 14 days of age, suckling rats were daily

gavage fed with PHA (0.05 mg/g body weight) or saline for 3 days.

At 1 or 3 days after this treatment, gastrointestinal organ growth,

intestinal morphology, disaccharidase pattern, macromolecular

absorption capacity, and pancreatic enzyme contents were studied.

Results: After PHA exposure, increased small intestinal growth

and number of crypt cells were observed, whereas the proportion

of enterocytes with supranuclear vacuoles in the distal

intestine was decreased. The macromolecular absorption of the

markers bovine immunoglobulin (Ig)G and bovine serum

albumin and plasma levels of maternal IgG decreased, and

intestinal disaccharidases switched toward an adult-like pattern.

The pancreas weight and pancreatic protein and trypsin contents

increased. These changes were partly reversible when the PHA

treatment began at 10 days of age, but they persisted when the

treatment began at 14 days of age.

Conclusions: PHA induced enhanced growth and precocious

functional maturation of the gastrointestinal tract in suckling

rats. The effects persisted if the PHA treatment started at 14

days of age, but not before, suggesting an age dependent mechanism.

These findings may lead to a better understanding of

gastrointestinal maturation and constitute a basis for the treatment

of mammals having an immature gut.


  • Zoology
  • Endocytosis
  • Pancreas
  • Disaccharidases
  • Gut
  • Permeability


  • ISSN: 1536-4801

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