Intestinal microvascular exchange in the rat during luminal perfusion with formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine

Gastroenterology. 1988 Mar;94(3):673-81. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(88)90238-7.


Formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP), a peptide released from bacteria in the gut lumen, is known to both attract and activate neutrophils. The aim of this study was to determine whether luminal perfusion with 1 microM FMLP alters microvascular permeability, blood flow, and neutrophil migration in the small intestine of control rats and rats treated with antineutrophil serum. Microvascular permeability to total plasma proteins was determined from an analysis of lymphatic protein fluxes. Myeloperoxidase activity was used as an index of tissue neutrophil count. Intestinal blood flow was measured using radiolabeled microspheres and the reference blood sample method. In control rats, luminal perfusion with FMLP caused significant increases in blood flow, lymph flow, lymph protein clearance, and microvascular permeability, but it did not alter tissue myeloperoxidase activity. In rats treated with antineutrophil serum, tissue myeloperoxidase levels were reduced by approximately 55%, and the FMLP-induced changes in lymph flow, lymph protein clearance, and microvascular permeability were significantly attenuated. In vitro experiments with isolated rat neutrophils revealed that 1 microM FMLP elicits significant chemotaxis and degranulation yet minimally enhances superoxide production. The results of this study indicate that peptides produced by microorganisms in the gut lumen can increase intestinal microvascular permeability. The FMLP-induced alterations in microvascular exchange appear to be mediated by activated neutrophils.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capillary Permeability / drug effects
  • Chemotaxis
  • Digestive System / drug effects*
  • Digestive System Physiological Phenomena
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Microcirculation / drug effects*
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / pharmacology*
  • Neutrophils / drug effects*
  • Neutrophils / physiology
  • Phagocytosis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine