Does small intestinal atresia affect epithelial protein expression in human newborns?

Maaike W. Schaart, Takeshi Yamanouchi, Danielle J. P. M. van Nispen, Rolien H. C. Raatgeep, Johannes B. van Goudoever, Ronald R. de Krijger, Dick Tibboel, Alexandra W. C. Einerhand, Ingrid B. Renes

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Bowel segments distal to a congenital intestinal obstruction have been suggested to be immature. In other words, luminal components such as amniotic fluid (before birth) and/or enteral nutrition (after birth) may be required to activate intestinal epithelial protein expression, thereby influencing epithelial differentiation. We investigated cell-type-specific protein expression proximal and distal to jejunal and ileal atresias in human newborns. We immunohistochemically studied intestinal tissue specimens of 16 newborns who had undergone surgery for jejunal or ileal atresia. Sections were taken from both the proximal and distal sides of the atresias. For all patients, the enterocyte-specific markers lactase, sucrase-isomaltase, sodium glucose cotransporter 1, glucose transporters 2 and 5, intestinal fatty acid-binding protein and alkaline phosphatase were expressed at a mean 3 +/- 1 days after birth, both proximal and distal to jejunal and ileal atresias. Expression of goblet cell-specific markers mucin 2 and trefoil factor 3 and that of the Paneth cell marker lysozyme was maintained at either side of the atretic segment. With respect to the markers used, the human small intestinal epithelium is already differentiated shortly after birth. The absence of intestinal continuity in case of a jejunal or ileal atresia does not affect epithelial protein expression. This would seem to indicate that the developing small intestinal epithelium matures independently of luminal components
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-583
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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