Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 30, Issue 7, pp 675–681

Relationship between enteral glucose load and adaptive mucosal growth in the small bowel

  • Elliot Weser
  • Joanna Babbitt
  • Ann Vandeventer
Original Articles


Infusion of hyperosmolar glucose solutions into small bowel will prevent mucosal atrophy or stimulate mucosal growth in rats otherwise maintained on total parenteral nutrition (TPN). It is not certain whether this growth effect is related to the osmolarity of the solution or its total molecular load. Therefore, various concentrations of glucose and sodium salt solutions were studied for comparative effects on growth of small bowel mucosa. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (240 g) were maintained on TPN and infused continuously with either glucose or sodium choride (2 and 0.6 ml/hr) or sodium sulfate (0.6 ml/hr) via a catheter placed in the mid-small intestine. Concentrations of infusion solutions ranged in osmotic pressure from 300 to 1500 mosmol/liter. Controls were TPN rats without infusion of any solution. Over a seven-day period, TPN rats receiving mid-gut infusions of 300 mosM saline gained 18.4g in body weight. In TPN rats receiving mid-gut infusions of progressively greater concentrations of glucose, the additional total kilocalories per day resulted in greater body weight gain compared with the saline controls. After seven days, rats were killed, the small bowel removed, and divided into eight equal segments (segment 1, duodenum; segment 8, terminal ileum). Segment weight, mucosal weight, DNA, and protein concentration per segment were measured. Mid-gut infusions of 900 and 1500 mosM glucose solutions progressively increased mucosal mass in segments downstream from the site of infusion compared with 300 mosM glucose in water or 600 mosM glucose in saline which did not differ from any of the salt solutions or TPN alone. Increasing concentrations of the infused salt solutions were not accompanied by changes in mucosal mass and were similar to values found in rats without any infusion. The results suggest that mucosal growth is related to the molecular load of glucose and not to the osmolarity of the solution.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elliot Weser
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joanna Babbitt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ann Vandeventer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Medical ServiceAudie L. Murphy Veterans HospitalSan Antonio
  2. 2.University of Texas Health Science CenterSan Antonio

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