Red kidney beans were fed to weanling Long-Evans rats to cause diarrhoea (mean (SD) faecal wet weight: 2.66 (0.73) g/day in six rats fed beans v 1.12 (0.47) g/day in six control rats, p < 0.01) and increased faecal energy loss (4.87 (0.41) v 2.14 (0.23) kcal/day, p < 0.01). In addition, the rats fed beans had heavier small intestines (80.6 (4.6) v 51.9 (8.4) g/kg body weight, p < 0.01), heavier mesenteric lymph nodes (0.72 (0.27) v 0.08 (0.08) g/kg body weight, p < 0.05), and translocation of indigenous intestinal bacteria, Citrobacter Spp and Escherichia coli, to the mesenteric lymph nodes. (Translocation positive, that is, > 100 colonies per g of nodal tissue: 75% v 0%, p < 0.005.) These data suggest that diarrhoea induced by red kidney beans is a suitable model for studies of an important cause of persistent diarrhoea--that is, systemic complications. This rat model of lectin induced diarrhoea with translocation of intraluminal enteric bacteria into mesenteric lymph nodes should be useful in understanding the well known septicaemic complications associated with prolonged diarrhoea in infants and small children and in studies on factors that may modify or prevent bacterial translocation.
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