Gastrointestinal responses to a panel of lectins in rats maintained on total parenteral nutrition

Mark Jordinson, Robert A. Goodlad, Audrey Brynes, Philip Bliss, Mohammad A. Ghatei, Stephen R. Bloom, Anthony Fitzgerald, George Grant, Susan Bardocz, Arpad Pusztai, Massimo Pignatelli, John Calam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) causes atrophy of gastrointestinal epithelia, so we asked whether lectins that stimulate epithelial proliferation can reverse this effect of TPN. Two lectins stimulate pancreatic proliferation by releasing CCK, so we asked whether lectins that stimulate gastrointestinal proliferation also release hormones that might mediate their effects. Six rats per group received continuous infusion of TPN and a once daily bolus dose of purified lectin (25 mg·rat-1·day-1) or vehicle alone (control group) for 4 days via an intragastric cannula. Proliferation rates were estimated by metaphase arrest, and hormones were measured by RIAs. Phytohemagglutinin (PHA) increased proliferation by 90% in the gastric fundus (P < 0.05), doubled proliferation in the small intestine (P < 0.001), and had a small effect in the midcolon (P < 0.05). Peanut agglutinin (PNA) had a minor trophic effect in the proximal small intestine (P < 0.05) and increased proliferation by 166% in the proximal colon (P < 0.001) and by 40% in the midcolon (P < 0.001). PNA elevated circulating gastrin and CCK by 97 (P < 0.05) and 81% (P < 0.01), respectively, and PHA elevated plasma enteroglucagon by 69% and CCK by 60% (both P < 0.05). Only wheat germ agglutinin increased the release of glucagon-like peptide-1 by 100% (P < 0.05). PHA and PNA consistently reverse the fall in gastrointestinal and pancreatic growth associated with TPN in rats. Both lectins stimulated the release of specific hormones that may have been responsible for the trophic effects. It is suggested that lectins could be used to prevent gastrointestinal atrophy during TPN. Their hormone-releasing effects might be involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G1235-G1242
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5 39-5
Publication statusPublished - May 1999


  • Colon
  • Hormones
  • Pancreas
  • Small intestine
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gastrointestinal responses to a panel of lectins in rats maintained on total parenteral nutrition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this