Comparative effects of dietary administered transgenic and conventional papaya on selected intestinal parameters in rat models
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Powell, M., Wheatley, A.O., Omoruyi, F. et al. Transgenic Res (2010) 19: 511. doi:10.1007/s11248-009-9317-5
- 163 Downloads
Transformation of agricultural crops with novel genes has significantly advanced disease-resistance breeding, including virus resistance through the expression of virus sequences. In this study, the effects of long-term, repeated exposure to transgenic papayas carrying the coat protein gene of Papaya ringspot virus and conventional non-transgenic papaya on the histology and selected biochemical parameters of the intestinal tract were compared. For 3 months, male and female Wistar rats received diets containing transgenic or non-transgenic papaya at twice the equivalent of the average daily consumption of fresh papayas. Gross and macroscopic appearance of intestinal tissues, as well as stomach tissues, was comparable (P < 0.05) as were total intestinal bacterial counts and activities of β-glucuronidase. Activities of disaccharidases were not affected, neither were those of amylase (P < 0.05). Although significant differences were noted in the activity of Ca2+ and Na+/K+ ATPase brush border enzymes, no morphological alteration in the integrity of the intestinal mucosa was found. Overall, negligible effects on feed intake, body weight, and fecal output were observed (P < 0.05). Taken together, long-term exposure to diets formulated with transgenic papaya did not result in biologically important unintended effects.