A modified Roux-en-y repositioning of rat proximal small intestine resulted in a gut segment (A) exposed only to digestive secretions, but not to food and a gut segment (B) exposed to food, stomach juice and by reflux only to digestive secretions, and a third segment (C) exposed to both, food and digestive secretions.
The changes in segment A were qualitatively very similar to those occurring after removal of luminal nutrition (intravenous feeding, self-emptying blind loop, and Thiry Vella loop). These findings support the hypothesis that the presence of luminal nutrition is a major factor regulating mucosal mass and enzyme activity in rat proximal small intestine.
The changes in the luminal environment in segment B caused an increase in mucosal mass (in the proximal half only), an increase in sucrase activity which paralleled the increase in mucosal mass, and no change in activity of alkaline phosphatase which in fact was a decrease in activity `at the cellular level'. Later on the net absorption of sodium and potassium was improved and the disappearance of galactose was unchanged when referred to unit length of small intestine.
In segment C there was a small increase in mucosal mass, an increase in activity only for alkaline phosphatase, and an improvement of the net absorption of sodium without changes in the disappearance of galactose. These changes were compatible with a more proximal promotion of a distal gut segment.
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