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Dynamic changes in basal lamina fenestrations in rat intestinal villous epithelium under high-fat diet condition

Keisuke Morita, Rie Azumi, Masatoshi Sato, Yusuke Mizutani, Manabu Hayatsu, Shuji Terai, Tatsuo Ushiki
Biomedical Research 2019, 40 (2): 57-66
The basal lamina of the villous epithelium in the small intestine has numerous fenestrations, which are produced by leukocytes for their intraepithelial migration. We previously showed that these fenestrations change due to the dynamics of migrating leukocytes in response to dietary conditions and suggested the possibility that this change is related to the regulation of the absorption of large-sized nutrients such as chylomicrons. The present study was, thus, designed to investigate structural changes in basal lamina fenestrations in response to a high-fat diet. The ultrastructure of the intestinal villi in the rat upper jejunum was investigated by electron microscopy of tissue sections in both the normal and the high-fat diet groups, and the fenestrations in the villous epithelium of rat upper jejunum were studied by scanning electron microscopy of osmium macerated/ ultrasonicated tissues. The present study showed that free cells adhering to the fenestrations increased in the upper jejunum two hours after feeding high-fat diet and the size of the fenestrations in this region also increased after feeding high-fat diet for 2 days. This enlargement of fenestrations may play an important role in increasing the efficiency of lipid absorption by facilitating the movement of chylomicrons from the intercellular space to the lamina propria.


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