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Histochemistry. 1979;64(3):235-49.

REgional functional differentiation in the gut of the grasscarp, Ctenopharyngodon idella (Val.).


A regional differentiation--reflecting structural differences--of the intestine of larval and juvenile grasscarps can be illustrated by studying the activity of alkaline phosphatase and the uptake of orally administered horseradish peroxidase. Pinocytosis takes place in a welldefined area of about 23% of the length of the gut (segment II). Neither the rostral +/- 68% (segment I) nor the caudal +/- 9% (segment III) shows absorption of the enzyme. Alkaline phosphatase activity, mainly localized at the microvilli of the enterocytes is high in the first segment of the gut and low in the second segment. In larvae, the activity decreases sharply at the transition from segment I to segment II. The activity is weak or absent in the caudal third segment. Quantitative histochemical data are confirmed by biochemical analyses. Alkaline phosphatase activity is found all over the mucosal folds of the first segment, with relatively weak activity at the base and at the tip of the folds. This may be related to a renewal of the epithelium. Our results suggest that active absorption of digested food takes place mainly in the rostral first segment, while the uptake of macromolecules by pinocytosis is a function of the second segment. Comparison of the results with information available in literature leads to a rejection of the hypothesis that the uptake of protein macromolecules in Cyprinids is to be attributed to the absence of a stomach and therefore to an inefficient digestion of proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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