Background & aims: Growth factors are mainly involved in the regulation of intestinal epithelial barrier function. This study investigated the effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) on epithelial restitution of rabbit duodenum in vitro.
Methods: Rabbit duodenal mucosal strips mounted in an Ussing chamber were luminally exposed to 10 mmol/L HCl for 10 minutes and then incubated with buffer alone or luminal buffer containing various concentrations of EGF and IGF-1 for 3 hours. Resistance was calculated from potential difference and short-circuit current. Damage was assessed by morphometry on H&E-stained sections.
Results: HCl caused resistance to decrease from 112 +/- 2 to 51 +/- 4 ohms x cm2 10 minutes after injury (n = 6; P < 0.05). Postinjury treatment with 25 or 50 ng/mL luminal EGF for 3 hours stimulated resistance to recover to 94 +/- 3 and 104 +/- 3 ohms x cm2, respectively, vs. 81 +/- 3 omega x cm2 in controls (P < 0.05). Ten minutes after injury, 62% of the mucosa was damaged; 3 hours after injury, damage was reduced to 24% +/- 1.09% and 10% +/- 1.42% in the 25 and 50 ng/mL EGF group, respectively, vs. 38% +/- 0.93% in controls (n = 6 per group). EGF stimulated enterocyte migration. IGF-1 did not impair epithelial restitution.
Conclusions: EGF, but not IGF-1, promoted epithelial restitution of rabbit duodenum in vitro.