Indexed on: 01 Jul '12Published on: 01 Jul '12Published in: Obesity Research & Clinical Practice
We have found previously that ventromedial hypothalamic lesions (VMH) enhance cell proliferation in the visceral organs through vagal hyperactivity in rats. The goal of the current study was to determine the characteristics and nature of cell proliferation in the small intestine in VMH-lesioned mice.The weight and length of the small intestine, thickness of the mucosal and muscle layers, number of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-positive cells, and mitotic cell count in the mucosal layer in VMH-lesioned and Sham VMH-lesioned mice were determined at 7 days after the operation.The weight and length of the small intestine in VMH-lesioned mice were significantly greater than those in Sham VMH-lesioned mice, by 11.6% and 15.0%, respectively. The thicknesses of the mucosal and muscle layers of the small intestine in VMH-lesioned mice were also significantly greater than those in Sham VMH-lesioned mice, by 12.7% and 12.5%, respectively. PCNA-positive cells and mitotic cells in the mucosal layer were densely present in crypts in VMH-lesioned mice, and were significantly increased by 31.9% and 71.7%, respectively, compared to Sham VMH-lesioned mice.These results demonstrate that VMH lesions in mice enhance cell proliferation in the mucosal layers and cause cell hypertrophy or cell proliferation in the muscle layers of the small intestine, which increases the weight and length of the small intestine. VMH lesions in mice may be a new tool for identifying growth factors and related genes involved in enlarging the small intestine mainly through cell proliferation.