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Am J Physiol. 1993 Mar;264(3 Pt 1):G576-82.

Oleic acid-induced mucosal injury in developing piglet intestine.

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Department of Physiology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport 71130.


A role for luminal nutrients, in particular products of lipid digestion, in the pathogenesis of mucosal injury to developing intestine has been postulated. We evaluated changes in mucosal permeability and light and electron microscopic histology induced by luminal perfusion with the long-chain fatty acid oleate in developing piglet intestine as a function of age and concentration of the fatty acid. 51Cr-labeled EDTA plasma-to-lumen clearance was measured in jejunum and ileum of 1-day-, 3-day-, 2-wk-, and 1-mo-old piglets during sequential perfusion with saline control (20 min); 0, 1, 5, and 10 mM oleic acid/10 mM taurocholate in saline (20 min); and normal saline (60 min). The jejunum of piglets < or = 2 wk showed significantly greater increases in mucosal permeability compared with 1-mo-old animals after perfusion with oleic acid. This effect was dependent on the luminal concentration of the fatty acid and was associated with mucosal injury evident under light and electron microscopy. In contrast, the overall response in ileum was more attenuated compared with jejunum. Thus oleic acid, a common dietary fatty acid, induces dose- and age-dependent injury in developing piglet intestine. Investigation of the mechanisms of this injury may provide the basis for dietary modifications directed at decreasing the risk of mucosal injury during enteral feeding in neonatal intestine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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