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Effect of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) on jejunal mucosa mass and protein synthesis.
  1. S Schwartz,
  2. M Farriol,
  3. E Garcia-Arumi,
  4. A L Andreu,
  5. J López Hellín,
  6. M A Arbós
  1. Metabolic Research Unit Santiago Grisolia, Department of Biochemistry, University General Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.


    The effects of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) on jejunal mucosa mass and protein synthesis were compared with results from previous experiments with rats fed by parenteral nutrition or enteral nutrition. Other published studies have also been analysed. Three experimental models were studied. In the traumatic model, production of a femoral fracture was followed by Kirschner pin insertion into the medullary canal of both fragments at reduction. (Forty ras were fed enteral nutrition and 93 were given parenteral nutrition.) A second model entailed resection under ether anaesthesia using the technique described by Higgins. (Fifty five rats were fed enteral nutrition and 28 with parenteral nutrition.) A third model entailed a terminolateral portocaval shunt under anaesthesia with pentobarbital. (Sixty nine rats were treated this way and then given enteral nutrition.) Proportions of medium chain/long chain triglycerides (LCT) were as follows: 0/100, 20/80, 40/60, 50/50, and 92/8 for enteral nutrition and 0/100, 30/70, 50/50, and 70/30 for parenteral nutrition. Faecal losses of alpha amino nitrogen, protein, total fats, and free fatty acids were analysed together with the quantitative intake, weight gain of the rats, jejunal mucosal mass, and protein synthesis in relation to the MCT proportion ingested or given by enteral nutrition or parenteral nutrition. From analysis of our results and those of others, several conclusions could be drawn. Firstly, the route of administration of MCT is extremely important and enterocytes might be considered one of the main target sites. Secondly, a high proportion of MCT (more than 80%) offers no advantage for jejunal mucosa and produces undesirable side effects. Thirdly, the effect of MCT on jejunal mucosal protein synthesis depends on the metabolic state. Finally, an increase in jejunal mucosal mass directly correlated with MCT concentrations, but no correlation was found between mass and protein synthesis. A positive correlation, however, between MCT proportion and enzyme activity (alkaline phosphatase and sucrase) in the brush border membrane was seen as well as a positive correlation with the concentration of phospholipids in the microvilli.

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