Developmental pattern of brush border enzymes in the human fetal colon. Correlation with some morphogenetic events

Early Hum Dev. 1984 Feb;9(2):95-103. doi: 10.1016/0378-3782(84)90089-6.


The present study is concerned with a multilevel approach to human colon organogenesis, involving scanning and transmission electron microscopy together with brush border enzymology. The results emphasize the particular developmental pattern of sucrase activity which appears towards 11 weeks, increases at 14 weeks, begins to decrease around 28 weeks and disappears totally at term. In contrast, other enzymes like aminopeptidase and alkaline phosphatase persist in the adult colon. The correlation, in the fetal large bowel, of enzyme activities and villus structures similar to those found in the small intestine is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Aminopeptidases / metabolism
  • Colon / embryology*
  • Colon / enzymology
  • Colon / ultrastructure
  • Fetus
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / enzymology*
  • Microvilli / enzymology
  • Sucrase / metabolism


  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Sucrase
  • Aminopeptidases