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Endocrine. 1997 Apr;6(2):187-94.

Role of interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6, and TNF-alpha in intestinal maturation induced by dietary spermine in rats.

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Department of Biochemistry and General Physiology, University of Liege, Belgium.


In the present investigation, the authors aimed to evaluate the role of cytokines in intestinal postnatal maturation induced by dietary polyamines. Neonatal rats were administered either saline (8 mumol) orally. Spermine increased interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), IL-6, and TNF-alpha plasma concentration. The maximum concentrations of IL-1 beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha were, respectively, observed at 4, 4, and 8 h posttreatment. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of IL-1 beta increased the specific activity of sucrase in whole small intestine, whereas the specific activities of maltase and lactase were significantly enhanced only in the jejunum. IL-6 elicited sucrase and increased maltase specific activity in the whole small intestine, but lactase specific activity was not affected. TNF-alpha had no effect on sucrase and maltase specific activity, but a slight augmentation of lactase specific activity was detected in the jejunum. Spermine and spermidine content in the intestine was increased by i.p. injection of IL-1 beta and IL-6. Corticosterone secretion was elevated by single i.p. injection of IL-1 beta, IL-6, or TNF-alpha. These findings suggest that spermine could induce postnatal intestinal development and corticosterone secretion through a cytokine-dependent mechanism.

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