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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2008 Mar;233(3):310-6. doi: 10.3181/0708-RM-228.

Indigestible material attenuated changes in apoptosis in the fasted rat jejunal mucosa.

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  • 1Department of Intestinal Medicine, Saga Medical School, 5-1-1 Nabeshima, Saga 849-8501, Japan.


We have previously demonstrated that fasting induced apoptosis and decreased cell proliferation in the rat intestinal mucosa. The aim was to investigate the effect of expanded polystyrene as indigestible material on apoptosis and cell proliferation in rat small intestinal mucosa during fasting. Male SD rats were divided into 3 groups. The first group was fed with chow and water ad libitum. The second group fasted for 72 hrs. The third group was fasted for 24 hrs and was fed expanded polystyrene. Intestinal apoptosis was evaluated by percent fragmented DNA assay, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUDP-biotin nick end-labeling (TUNEL) staining, and caspase-3 assay. Cell proliferation was analyzed by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (5-BrdU) uptake. Truncal vagotomy was performed to evaluate a role of the central nervous system. In the 72-hr fasted rat, mucosal height of the rat jejunum was decreased to 73% of that in rats fed ad libitum, and this decrease was partly restored to 90% in rats fed expanded polystyrene. The fragmented DNA was increased in fasted rats (28.0%) when compared with that in rats fed ad libitum (2.6%). The increase in fragmented DNA in fasted rats was recovered by feeding them expanded polystyrene (8.3%). TUNEL staining confirmed this result. The effect of polystyrene on apoptosis was decreased by truncal vagotomy. Expression of cleaved caspase-3 was increased in fasted rats, which was then decreased by feeding of expanded polystyrene. In contrast to apoptosis, feeding of expanded polystyrene had no reconstructive effect on 5-BrdU uptake in the intestinal epithelium, which was decreased by fasting to 60% of that in rats fed ad libitum. In conclusion, feeding of indigestible material partly restored the decrease in intestinal mucosal length in the fasted rats through the apoptotic pathway without any influence on BrdU uptake. Further exploration focused on the mechanism of this effect of indigestible material is required.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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