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Pflügers Archiv : European journal of physiology 455, 2 (2007) 323-332
Morphological changes of the rat intestinal lining in relation to body stores depletion during fasting and after refeeding.
Caroline Habold1, François Reichardt1, Charlotte Foltzer-Jourdainne2, Jean-Hervé Lignot1

Intestinal villus atrophy through prolonged fasting was studied according to two different metabolic phases reached by fasting animals and characterized by (a) the mobilization of fat stores as body fuel and (b) an increase in protein catabolism for energy expenditure. The mechanisms involved in the rapid jejunal restoration after refeeding were also determined. Mucosal structural atrophy during fasting proved to worsen over the two phases due mainly to the retraction of the lacteals in the lamina propria, as observed through the immunolocalization of aquaporin 1 in the endothelial cells of the lymphatic vessels and the detachment of the basal membrane of the epithelial lining at the tip of the villi. Microvilli surface area is preserved through fasting, and apical PepT1 expression increases during both metabolic fasting phases. Refeeding after both fasting phases induces an increase in FATP4 accompanied by a rapid lipid uptake by the enterocytes at the tip of the villi and a rapid extension of the lamina propria due to inflated lymphatic vessels. These mechanisms were more prevalent in animals refed after the phase III fast and could be considered as the major processes allowing complete morphological restoration of the jejunum within only 3 days after refeeding.
1 :  DEPE-IPHC - Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie
2 :  Développement et physiopathologie de l'intestin et du pancréas
Sciences de l'environnement
jejunum – fasting – atrophy – enterocyte – lamina propria – aquaporin – pept1 – tatp4 – lacteals