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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Intestinal disaccharidases in malnourished infant rats.

In infants suffering from protein-calorie malnutrition, the decreased intestinal mucosal lactase specific activity could be due either to the protein-calorie malnutrition or to the commonly associated enteritis (viral or bacterial) and intestinal parasites. We studied intestinal mucosal disaccharidase (lactase, sucrase, and maltase) specific activity in suckling (1 and 2 wk old), weanling (3 wk old), and postweaning (4 and 6 wk old) control and growth-retarded (malnourished) rats. Growth retardation was induced by feeding mother rats and postweaning rats a diet deficient in protein. In the malnourished rats, with few exceptions, specific activity of the disaccharidases in the intestinal mucosa were similar to those in the corresponding control groups of rats. However, because of marked mucosal atrophy total intestinal mucosal disaccharidase activities were more than 50% lower in the malnourished rats. These findings suggest that the specific activity of the intestinal mucosal disaccharidases is not affected by malnutrition per se.[1]


  1. Intestinal disaccharidases in malnourished infant rats. Jambunathan, L.R., Neuhoff, D., Younoszai, M.K. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. (1981) [Pubmed]
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