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Pediatr Res. 1986 Feb;20(2):192-6.

Response of human and rat small intestinal mucosa to oral administration of Saccharomyces boulardii.

Abstract

To evaluate the response of the small intestinal mucosa to Saccharomyces boulardii (S.b.), a yeast widely used in some countries as an adjuvant drug with oral antimicrobial therapy, seven healthy adult volunteers were treated with high doses of lyophilized S.b. (250 mg four times per day) for 2 wk. A peroral jejunal suction biopsy was performed on days 0 and 15 of the study. Compared to the initial biopsy, histological examination of the posttrial biopsy revealed no morphological alteration nor change in villus height or crypt depth. After treatment, the specific activity (per U protein) of sucrase, lactase, and maltase was, respectively, increased by 82% (p less than 0.05) 77% (p less than 0.05), and 75% (p less than 0.05) over the basal activity of the enzymes measured on day 0, whereas mucosal protein content remained unchanged. Similar findings were found in the jejunum of adult rats treated for 5 days with either viable or killed S.b. cells. The changes in total enzyme activity (per jejunal segment) paralleled the changes in specific enzyme activity. In vitro assays on freshly prepared suspensions of S.b. (6.0 X 10(8) viable cells/ml) evidenced a high activity for sucrase (mean +/- SE: 8 364 +/- 1280 U X g X protein-1) but no maltase, neutral lactase, acid beta-galactosidase, or aminopeptidase activity. To determine whether treatment with S.b. could influence the incorporation rate of neutral lactase into the brush border membrane, 14-day-old sucklings treated either with saline or with S.b. were given intraperitoneally a dose of 20 microCi D-[1(14)C] glucosamine 3 hours before sacrifice.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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