Red kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) lectin stimulation increases the number of enterochromaffin cells in the small intestine of suckling piglets

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The quantities and distribution patterns of serotonin-immunoreactive (serotonin-IR) enterochromaffin cells (EC) were studied immunohistochemically in the small intestine of suckling piglets stimulated with red kidney bean lectin, and in nonstimulated, control animals. The co-expression patterns of serotonin with somatostatin (SOM) or corticotropin releasing-factor (CRF) were also studied. After the lectin treatment, the increased numbers of EC were noted in the duodenum of experimental animals. Lectin stimulation did not change the proportions of EC in the jejunum and ileum. In the duodenal epithelium of the lectin-stimulated piglets, the vast majority of serotonin-IR EC were distributed at the basis of crypts. After the lectin administration, the proportions of serotonin-IR/SOM-IR EC were statistically similar in all sections of the small intestine. No upregulation of CRF was found in duodenal, jejunal, and ileal EC of lectin-treated animals. The findings demonstrated that red kidney bean lectin increased the serotonin reservoir in the duodenum, and thus may be an effective stimulant of the gut maturation in suckling mammals.

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Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute in Pulawy

The Journal of National Veterinary Research Institute in Pulawy

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