Trophic effects by epidermal growth factor on duodenal mucosa and exocrine pancreas in rats

Eur Surg Res. 1997;29(2):142-9. doi: 10.1159/000129518.


Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a potent growth factor with possible implications on the regulation of pancreatic secretion and duodenal absorption but also on pancreatic tumor growth. In the present study the growth effect on duodenal mucosa and pancreas by a 14-day continuous infusion of three different doses of EGF (4, 30 and 60 micrograms EGF/kg/24 h) was studied in rats. The EGF content in duodenal mucosa and pancreatic tissue was significantly increased by 30 and 60 micrograms/kg/24 h of EGF while plasma levels were only marginally increased. Neither duodenal mucosal nor pancreatic weights were changed but DNA content in both tissues was increased with the higher EGF doses. Long-term EGF infusion has moderate trophic effect on duodenal mucosa and the pancreas. There is a high tissue uptake of EGF, specially in duodenal mucosa. The hyperplasia seems to be related to tissue levels of EGF but not to plasma levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / analysis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Duodenum / drug effects*
  • Duodenum / growth & development
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Pancreas / drug effects*
  • Pancreas / growth & development
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Proteins
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • DNA