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J Nutr. 1999 Jul;129(7):1278-84.

Keratinocyte growth factor enhances glutathione redox state in rat intestinal mucosa during nutritional repletion.

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Department of Medicine, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Malnutrition decreases tissue levels of glutathione (GSH), a major endogenous antioxidant that detoxifies reactive oxygen species and promotes cell growth. This study determined the effects of the gut trophic peptide keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) on intestinal mucosal GSH concentrations and redox state in malnourished rats. Adult rats were food-deprived for 3 d, then consumed food ad libitum or 25% of ad libitum intake for 3 d with daily intraperitoneal administration of saline or KGF (5 Mucosal GSH and glutathione disulfide (GSSG) concentrations, crypt depth and total mucosal height were measured in the jejunum, ileum and colon. In the 25% of ad libitum-refed, saline-treated group, mucosal GSH was lower in all gut tissues (42% in jejunum, 38% in ileum, and 57% in colon), and the GSH/GSSG ratio was lower in the jejunum and ileum compared to that in the ad libitum-refed controls. KGF treatment with ad libitum refeeding increased GSH/GSSG in the jejunum, ileum and colon. Furthermore, in 25% of ad libitum refeeding, KGF normalized jejunal, ileal and colonic mucosal GSH content and significantly increased the mucosal GSH/GSSG ratio relative to rats treated with saline. Increased crypt depth and total mucosal height induced by KGF and feeding could be explained in part by increased mucosal GSH content. KGF treatment improved gut mucosal glutathione redox state in malnourished, refed rats. These data provide evidence that gut trophic hormones and food intake may independently support gut mucosal glutathione antioxidant capacity during nutritional repletion.

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