Insulin has been shown to influence intestinal structure and absorptive function. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of parenteral insulin on structural intestinal adaptation, cell proliferation, and apoptosis in a rat model of short bowel syndrome (SBS). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three experimental groups: sham rats underwent bowel transection and reanastomosis, SBS rats underwent a 75% small bowel resection, and SBS-INS rats underwent a 75% small bowel resection and were treated with insulin given subcutaneously at a dose of 1 U/kg, twice daily, from day 3 through day 14. Parameters of intestinal adaptation, enterocyte proliferation, and enterocyte apoptosis were determined on day 15 following operation. SBS rats demonstrated a significant increase in jejunal and ileal bowel and mucosal weight, villus height and crypt depth, and cell proliferation index compared with the sham group. SBS-INS animals demonstrated higher jejunal and ileal bowel and mucosal weights, jejunal and ileal mucosal DNA and protein, and jejunal and ileal crypt depth compared with SBS animals. SBS-INS rats also had a greater cell proliferation index in both jejunum and ileum and a trend toward a decrease in enterocyte apoptotic index in jejunum and ileum compared with the SBS untreated group. In conclusion, parenteral insulin stimulates structural intestinal adaptation in a rat model of SBS. Increased cell proliferation is the main mechanism responsible for increased cell mass.
- Intestinal adaptation
- Short bowel syndrome