The effects of parenteral glutamine on intestinal adaptation in a rat model of short bowel syndrome
ABSTRACT Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is characterized by the malabsorption of nutrients and fluids that occurs after major intestinal
resection, resulting from an adaptation process that begins immediately to increase the mucosal surface area and absorption.
Certain nutrients and trophic factors are widely used to increase intestinal adaptation following massive intestinal resection.
The efficacy and benefits of glutamine on the intestinal adaptation process is still controversial. This study was conducted
to determine the effects of parenteral glutamine administration on intestinal adaptation in a rat model of SBS. Fourteen male
Wistar rats were divided into two groups; all 14 underwent 75% small bowel resection. Within each group, rats were assigned
to 14 days of treatment with subcutaneous glutamine (0.3 g/kg/day) or isotonic saline daily. Weight changes and histological
intestinal adaptation parameters (mucosal thickness, villus height, and crypt depth) were measured. Non-mucosal intestinal
changes were evaluated by intestinal fractioned collagen analysis. All rats initially lost weight and began to gain weight
postoperatively; however, they did not reach their preoperative weights during the experiment and there was no significant
difference between the groups. Histological adaptation parameters were significantly increased after 75% intestinal resection
in both groups compared to paired native samples (P<0.01); although the percent of increase was slightly higher in Gln group,
no significant difference was detected between the two groups. Fractioned-collagen amounts were found to be similar between
groups. The results indicated that parenteral glutamine administration alone does not improve the intestinal adaptation process
after massive intestinal resection in rats.