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Effect of cholera toxin on ileal water and solute transport after resection of the proximal small intestine in the rat.
  1. W F Townsend,
  2. L G Walter,
  3. J L Kinzie,
  4. H V Ammon


    Intestinal adaptation after extensive small bowel resection results in mucosal hypertrophy and an increased capacity of the remaining small intestine to absorb solutes and water. We tested the ability of the adapted rat ileum to respond to a secretory stimulus, cholera toxin. Six weeks after 50% jejunal resection (short gut) or sham operation water and solute transport were measured in a 16 cm segment of ileum before and after exposure to cholera toxin in a single pass in vivo perfusion system. During the control periods absorption of glucose, acetate and water per unit length of intestine was significantly greater in short gut animals (P less than 0.05 to 0.001). After exposure to cholera toxin absorption of glucose and acetate was significantly reduced in both groups (P less than 0.05 to 0.01). Sodium and chloride secretion and net change in water movement in response to cholera toxin were significantly greater (P less than 0.05 to 0.01) in short gut animals. Generally the differences between short gut and sham operation animals disappeared when the data were normalised for mucosal weight. Chloride secretion per gram mucosa was less in short gut animals (P less than 0.001). The data indicate that the adapted small bowel is not only capable of enhanced absorption but also of enhanced net secretion in response to cholera toxin. The changes reflect the increased number of enterocytes per unit length of intestine after intestinal adaptation.

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