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Effects of peptides derived from dietary proteins on mucus secretion in rat jejunum.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U45, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, 69437 Lyon Cedex 3, France.


The hypothesis that dietary proteins or their hydrolysates may regulate intestinal mucin discharge was investigated in the isolated vascularly perfused rat jejunum using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for rat intestinal mucins. On luminal administration, casein hydrolysate [0.05-5% (wt/vol)] stimulated mucin secretion in rat jejunum (maximal response at 417% of controls). Lactalbumin hydrolysate (5%) also evoked mucin discharge. In contrast, casein, and a mixture of amino acids was without effect. Chicken egg albumin and its hydrolysate or meat hydrolysate also did not modify mucin release. Interestingly, casein hydrolysate-induced mucin secretion was abolished by intra-arterial TTX or naloxone (an opioid antagonist). beta-Casomorphin-7, an opioid peptide released from beta-casein on milk ingestion, induced a strong mucin secretion (response at 563% of controls) that was inhibited by naloxone. Intra-arterial beta-casomorphin-7 also markedly increased mucin secretion (410% of controls). In conclusion, two enzymatic milk protein hydrolysates (casein and lactalbumin hydrolysates) and beta-casomorphin-7, specifically, induced mucin release in rat jejunum. The casein hydrolysate-induced mucin secretion is triggered by a neural pathway and mediated by opioid receptor activation.

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