Early ultrastructural adaptive changes of ileal enterocytes after proximal small bowel resection as determined morphometrically

Res Exp Med (Berl). 1985;185(4):259-68. doi: 10.1007/BF01851950.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate in terms of quantitative measurements whether the well-known histomorphological and functional adaptive changes in the intestinal mucosa after small bowel resection are accompanied by alterations on the ultrastructural level. Therefore, samples of the ileal remnants after a 60% proximal resection were processed for ultrastructural evaluation and analyzed employing point counting planimetry and direct measurements. Microvillus surface area increased from the bottom of the crypts to the villus tips in both resected and sham-operated animals. This increase in microvillus surface area from the crypt to the villus was significantly less pronounced after proximal resection, while there were no changes in the crypt compartment. No significant differences of the relative areas of the nuclei, mitochondria, and the rough endoplasmic reticulum were observed when comparing the different positions along the villus crypt axis in normal and hyperplastic mucosa. In agreement with functional and enzyme histochemical results, these ultrastructural findings provide further evidence for an altered pattern of enterocyte maturation after proximal resection, which is most probably due to an increase in the migration rate of the enterocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ileum / cytology
  • Ileum / ultrastructure*
  • Intestine, Small / surgery*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microvilli / ultrastructure
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Time Factors