The ability of 16,16-dimethyl-prostaglandin-E2 (PGE) to augment mucosal adaptation 14 days after a 70% distal small bowel resection in the rat was evaluated. In resected (R) and sham operated (S) animals, subcutaneous PGE 75 mg/kg, 2 X/day, induced significant (p less than 0.05) increases in mucosal protein, DNA, and disaccharidase concentrations per centimetre of bowel. The respective per cent increases in the residual proximal small intestine compared with their respective untreated controls were: protein, R = 60%, S = 66%; DNA, R = 69%, S = 29%; maltase, R = 57%, S = 5%. The uptake of leucine by intestinal rings was significantly higher (50%) in the PGE treated group at a concentration of 2 mmol/l of substrate, while the uptake of glucose was similar in all groups. The drug appears to be an effective agent in stimulating morphological and functional adaptation after massive distal small bowel resection.
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