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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Dec;16(12):2585-92. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.502. Epub 2008 Oct 30.

An endoluminal sleeve induces substantial weight loss and normalizes glucose homeostasis in rats with diet-induced obesity.

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  • 1Gastrointestinal Unit and MGH Weight Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


To investigate the contributions of two surgical gut manipulations-exclusion of the proximal intestine from alimentary flow and exposure of the jejunum to partially digested nutrients-to body weight regulation and metabolism, we have developed a rat model of an investigational device, the endoluminal sleeve (ELS). The ELS is a 10 cm, nutrient-impermeable, flexible tube designed for endoluminal implantation. ELS devices were surgically implanted in the duodenal bulb of rats with diet-induced obesity. Body weight, food intake, stool caloric content, and glucose homeostasis were subsequently evaluated. ELS-implanted rats demonstrated a 20% reduction of body weight compared to sham-operated (SO) controls. ELS-treated animals consumed an average of 27% fewer kcal/day than SO, and there was no evidence of malabsorption. ELS treatment improved fasting glycemia and glucose tolerance after oral and intraperitoneal (IP) administration. ELS treatment enhanced insulin sensitivity, as demonstrated by decreased fasting and glucose-stimulated insulin levels and confirmed by calculation of homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (IR). These data suggest that selective bypass of the proximal intestine by ELS, with enhanced delivery of partially digested nutrients to the jejunum, mimics many of the effects of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) on body weight and glucose metabolism. Thus, ELS implantation may be an effective treatment for obesity and diabetes. Since the ELS device is amenable to endoscopic placement, it may offer a valuable alternative to more invasive surgical approaches in selected patients with obesity and its metabolic complications.

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