Background and aims: Gastrointestinal disorders and symptoms are common in diabetic patients. Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and their receptor (RAGE) have been proposed as an important pathological mechanism underlying diabetic complications, such as diabetic cardiopathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, etc. The aims were to study the distribution of AGE and RAGE in the normal and diabetic small intestine and colon in rats and the possible relationship between AGEs/RAGE and diabetes-induced intestinal structural remodeling.
Methods: Diabetic and age-matched normal rats survived for 56 days. The body weight and blood glucose were measured regularly until day 56. Jejunal, ileal, and colonic segments were excised. The wet weight per unit length and the layer thickness were measured. AGE and RAGE were detected by immunohistochemical staining.
Results: The wet weight per unit length in the three segments and the layer thickness in jejunum and ileum increased in the diabetic rats. The staining density of AGE in diabetic rats was higher in the villi of jejunum and ileum, and in the crypt and circumferential muscle layer of ileum compared to normal rats. The staining intensity of RAGE increased in ganglia, crypt, and brush border of diabetic jejunum and ileum as well as in ganglia of diabetic colon. Positive association was found between the accumulation of AGE and RAGE and the thickness of the different layers.
Conclusions: The expression of AGE and RAGE is up-regulated in the small intestine and colon of diabetic rats. The increased AGE and RAGE levels may contribute to diabetic GI dysfunction.