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J Gastrointest Surg. 2014 Feb;18(2):286-94; discussion 294. doi: 10.1007/s11605-013-2338-7. Epub 2013 Sep 4.

High-fat diet enhances villus growth during the adaptation response to massive proximal small bowel resection.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, St Louis Children's Hospital, One Children's Place, Suite 5S40, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA.


Previous studies have shown that high-fat diet (HFD) enhances adaptation if provided immediately following small bowel resection (SBR). The purpose of this study was to determine if HFD could further enhance villus growth after resection-induced adaptation had already taken place. C57/Bl6 mice underwent a 50 % proximal SBR or sham operation and were then provided a standard rodent liquid diet (LD) ad lib. After a typical period of adaptation (7 days), SBR and sham-operated mice were randomized to receive either LD or HFD (42 % kcal fat) for an additional 7 days. Mice were then harvested, and small intestine was collected for analysis. Adaptation occurred in both SBR groups; however, the SBR/HFD had significantly increased villus height compared to SBR/LD. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction of villus enterocytes showed a marked increase in CD36 expression in the SBR/HFD group compared with SBR/LD mice. While exposure to increased enteral fat alone did not affect villus morphology in sham-operated mice, HFD significantly increased villus growth in the setting of resection-induced adaptation, supporting the clinical utility of enteral fat in augmenting adaptation. Increased expression of CD36 suggests a possible mechanistic role in dietary fat metabolism and villus growth in the setting of short gut syndrome.

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