2000 年 49 巻 4 号 p. 281-287
To examine age-related changes in the morphology of intestinal brush border membrane (BBM; microvilli) and specific activities of intestinal BBM enzymes including alkaline phosphatase (ALP), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GT), and disacchridase, four groups of Wistar rats were sacrificed at 2.5 wk, 5 wk, 5 mon and 23 mon. In an electron microscopic examination, morphologically a less dense BBM structure in the duodenum of rats aged 23 mon was observed than that of rats aged 5 mon. Specific activity of ALP in the duodenum from 5-mon-old rats was significantly higher than from rats aged 2.5 wk and 23 mon. The mucosal tissues from 5-wk-old rats had significantly higher specific activity of γ-GT than did tissues from the other ages. In sucrase and maltase specific activities, 5-mon-old rats had higher activities of these enzymes than other age groups, especially 2.5-wk- and 23-mon-old rats. There was also a significant effect of site on intestinal BBM enzyme activities in post-weanling rats. Regional gradients of ALP and γ-GT along the entire small intestine (duodenum>jejunum>ileum) were remarkable. Disaccharidase activities peaked in the jejunum and declined toward both the duodenum and ileum. Taken together the result obtained here suggested that 5-mon-old rats had the most elevated intestinal function. This result also strongly indicated that the structure of the intestinal BBM and development of intestinal BBM enzymes in Wistar rats were markedly influenced by age during the postnatal period.