The protein induced modifications of the small bowel mucosa from ovalbumin-sensitised mouse have been studied in organ culture. A decrease in gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, alkaline phosphatase, lactase, sucrase, and glucoamylase activities was observed in the explants cultured in the presence of ovalbumin. In contrast, a large increase of those enzymatic activities was noted in the culture media, the overall effect observed being a net stimulation of the total enzymatic activities of the culture system. The enzymes accumulated in the particulate fraction of the medium (brush border membrane fraction) suggesting an increased turnover of membrane components by a process of shedding or microvesiculation. This model serves as a useful tool in evaluating the local response of the small bowel mucosa induced by a specific protein.
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