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

Analysis of structural and biochemical events occurring in the small intestine after dietary polyamine ingestion in suckling rats.

In the present investigation, we analyzed the mechanism involved in spermine-induced intestinal maturation in suckling rats. Spermine was given orally to suckling pups and biochemical as well as morphological parameters were studied at different times after the beginning of the treatment. Eight hours after administration, spermine produced cell elimination at the villus tops and a decrease in intestinal DNA and protein content. In parallel, protein and DNA concentration and disaccharidase activity were enhanced in the chyme. These transitory alterations were not induced by growth inhibition, as DNA synthesis was not modified, although a brief decrease in protein synthesis was observed. Spermine was not metabolized in cytotoxic products: rat pretreatment with MDL72527 (an inhibitor of polyamine oxidase) did not avoid the decrease in disaccharidase activity and in DNA and protein content. Three days after treatment, sucrase and maltase activity was higher in rats treated with spermine and MDL72527 than that in animals receiving spermine alone. Lactulose or acetylspermine ingestion induced intestinal maturation. Our data suggest that dietary polyamines exert a direct and specific maturational effect on rat small intestine and that an early decrease in lactase activity plays an important role in this phenomenon.[1]


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