Expression of SPARC (secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine) in healing intestinal anastomoses and short bowel syndrome in rats

Dig Dis Sci. 1999 Aug;44(8):1554-64. doi: 10.1023/a:1026602708263.


Due to the proposed functions in soft tissue repair, we evaluated the spatial and temporal distribution of SPARC, a counteradhesive, matricellular glycoprotein in healing intestinal anastomoses and short bowel syndrome (SBS) in rats. Intestinal anastomoses were performed in the jejunum of male Wistar rats. SBS was induced by resecting 70% of the small bowel. In situ hybridization was performed to localize SPARC mRNA and immunohistochemical studies for locating the SPARC protein. The granulation tissue in the anastomotic area exhibited immunoreactivity for SPARC at all time points. The level of expression was maximal at seven to nine days. Endothelial cells of capillaries, smooth muscle cells, fibroblastic cells, and macrophages, as well as mesothelial cells on the serosal surface, were stained. The immunoreactivity was mostly intracellular. SPARC mRNA transcripts were localized to the edges of the anastomotic area at days 1 and 4 and on the newly formed granulation tissue later. The expression of SPARC mRNA was maximal at seven days and decreased thereafter. Both in normal controls and in SBS, SPARC was expressed in endothelial cells of submucosal capillaries and in smooth muscle cells but not in epithelium. Based on the restricted temporal and spatial distribution during the healing of intestinal anastomoses and in SBS we propose that SPARC plays a significant role in intestinal repair and adaptation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical*
  • Animals
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Intestines / pathology
  • Intestines / surgery*
  • Male
  • Osteonectin / genetics
  • Osteonectin / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / metabolism
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / pathology
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Osteonectin
  • RNA, Messenger