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Adaptation of the jejunal mucosa in the experimental blind loop syndrome: changes in paracellular conductance and tight junction structure.
  1. J D Schulzke,
  2. M Fromm,
  3. C J Bentzel,
  4. H Menge,
  5. E O Riecken
  1. Abteilung für Gastroenterologie, Klinikum Steglitz, Freie Universität Berlin, FRG.


    Self-filling blind loops of rat jejunum exhibit hyperregenerative transformation of the mucosa. We used this experimental model to characterise mechanisms, which may occur under similar conditions in man (stagnant loop syndrome). Epithelial and subepithelial resistance were measured in the Ussing-chamber by voltage divider ratio measurements after positioning a microelectrode between epithelium and subepithelial tissue layers. In the blind loop, epithelial resistance increased from 8 +/- 1 to 23 +/- 1 omega cm2 and subepithelial resistance from 39 +/- 4 to 86 +/- 8 omega cm2 as compared with control jejunum. The increase in the subepithelial resistance was paralleled anatomically by an increase in the thickness of the subepithelial tissue layers from 63 +/- 4 microns to 177 +/- 19 microns. Ultrastructural analysis of the tight junction area by freeze fracture electron microscopy revealed an increase in the total junctional 'depth' in the crypts from 243 +/- 9 nm in control jejunum to 396 +/- 17 nm in the blind loop, while the number of horizontally oriented 'strands' remained unchanged. Villus tight junctions did not differ between blind loop and control. We interpret the alterations in the self-filling blind loop as an adaptive response of the epithelium which reduces backleakage of already absorbed electrolytes across the tight junction into the intestinal lumen. This mechanism is suitable to support the intestine in maintaining body electrolyte and water contents during cellular electrolyte malabsorption.

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