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Distribution of the H+/peptide transporter PepT1 in human intestine: up-regulated expression in the colonic mucosa of patients with short-bowel syndrome

Ziegler, Thomas R., Fernández-Estívariz, Concepción, Gu, Li H., Bazargan, Niloofar, Umeakunne, Kay, Wallace, Timothy M., Diaz, Emma E., Rosado, Kathia E., Pascal, Robert R., Galloway, John R., Wilcox, Josiah N., Leader, Lorraine M.
American journal of clinical nutrition 2002 v.75 no.5 pp. 922-930
Northern blotting, adults, animal models, biopsy, colon, epithelial cells, humans, in situ hybridization, malabsorption, messenger RNA, microvilli, parenteral feeding, patients, peptide transporters, resection, small intestine, surface area, villi
Background: Intestinal adaptation after massive bowel resection in animal models is characterized by increased gut-mucosal growth and expression of nutrient transporters. Few data about these indexes exist in humans with short-bowel syndrome (SBS). Objective: The objective was to compare small-bowel and colonic mucosal growth and expression of the peptide transporter PepT1 in adults with or without SBS. Design: Mucosal biopsy specimens were obtained from the small bowel and colon of 33 control subjects with intact intestine and from 13 SBS patients dependent on parenteral nutrition because of chronic malabsorption. Gut-mucosal crypt depth, villus height, and villus width were measured, and expression of PepT1 was determined by Northern blotting, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry. Results: The indexes of small-bowel and colonic mucosal growth were not significantly different between the 2 groups. PepT1 expression was high in the apical region of duodenal, jejunal, and ileal villus epithelial cells; low in absorptive colonocytes; and not significantly different in the distal small intestine of the 2 groups. However, the abundance of PepT1 mRNA in the colon of SBS patients was more than 5-fold that in control subjects (P < 0.01). Conclusions: Gut adaptation in SBS patients does not appear to involve an increase in gut-mucosal crypt depth or villus size. PepT1 is abundant along the small-bowel brush border in humans; expression in the colon indicates that the large intestine has a mechanism for luminal di- and tripeptide transport. Up-regulation of colonic PepT1 in SBS may adaptively improve accrual of malabsorbed di- and tripeptides, independent of changes in the mucosal surface area.