Human small bowel early organogenesis was studied by scanning electron microscopy and found to be correlated to brush border enzymology. The appearance of the brush border enzymes sucrase, lactase, and aminopeptidase (measured in a purified apical membrane fraction) coincides with the first outgrowth of villi (eight weeks). Alkaline phosphatase was detected at seven weeks. The content of these enzymes furthermore increased up to the 14th week when both sucrase and aminopeptidase activities were comparable with adult values.
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