E2 prostaglandins modulate cell proliferation in the small intestinal epithelium of the rat

Digestion. 1992;52(3-4):157-64. doi: 10.1159/000200948.


Groups of Sprague-Dawley rats were administered 1 mg/kg indomethacin subcutaneously, indomethacin subcutaneously plus 200 micrograms/kg oral 15-R-15 methyl-prostaglandin E2 (MePGE2) or oral MePGE2 twice daily for 10 days. The animals were treated with antibiotics to prevent mortality. Two control groups were used: control 1 was given placebo and control 2 was treated with antibiotics. All rats were killed 4 h after injection of a metaphase blocker, and the proliferative activity of the distal small intestine was examined in histological sections by means of the cumulative mitotic index (MI). A reduction in the number of villous cells was observed in the rats given antibiotics (p < 0.05 vs. control 1). The small intestinal villi of the rats treated with indomethacin had fewer cells than those of both control groups (p < 0.05) whereas the crypts contained more cells (p < 0.05) and had a higher MI than those of the controls (p < 0.05 vs. controls 1 and 2). These changes were reverted by the prostaglandin analogue. The number of cells of the small intestinal crypts and the cumulative MI in the rats who received indomethacin and the prostaglandin analogue were similar to controls, and they were significantly lower than the values observed in the animals treated with indomethacin (p < 0.05). The animals treated with the prostaglandin analogue and placebo developed a marked hyperplasia of the small intestinal villi (p < 0.05 vs. both control groups), but the atrophy of the villi induced by indomethacin was not prevented by simultaneous administration of the analogue.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arbaprostil / pharmacology
  • Bacitracin / pharmacology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Dinoprostone / physiology*
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestine, Small / cytology*
  • Male
  • Mitotic Index
  • Neomycin / pharmacology
  • Polymyxin B / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Bacitracin
  • Neomycin
  • Polymyxin B
  • Dinoprostone
  • Arbaprostil
  • Indomethacin