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Table of Contents
Vol. 15, No. 5, 1977
Issue release date: 1977
Digestion 1977;15:411–424

‘Luminal Nutrition’ versus ‘Functional Work-Load’ as Controllers of Mucosal Morphology and Epithelial Replacement in the Rat Small Intestine

Clarke R.M.
Department of Human Morphology, University Hospital and Medical School, Nottingham

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Isotonic solutions of substrate were infused into surgically prepared sacs of upper small intestine in conscious unrestrained rats which fed normally via the gut-in-continuity. Infusion of glucose, galactose or sodium chloride all caused a local increase in villus height, while α-methyl glucoside and mannose had no effect. Glucose, galactose and α-methyl glucoside all stimulated a similar increase in counts of vincristine metaphases in microdissected crypts, although the absolute level of cell production was lower throughout the gut in glucose-infused rats. Sodium chloride infusion also caused a small stimulation of cell production locally, but a considerable increase in the uninfused gut-in-continuity. Mannose infusion had a variable effect on cell production. These results do not support ‘luminal nutrition’ as a controller of epithelial replacement in the rat small intestine, and suggest that a mechanism based on the work-load of the epithelium may be more appropriate.

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