Journal Article
. 2004 Nov; 37(11):1631-5.
doi: 10.1590/s0100-879x2004001100006.

Morphological and functional alterations of the intestine of rats with iron-deficiency anemia

M L C Wayhs 1 F S R Patrício  O M S Amancio  M Z Pedroso  U Fagundes Neto  M B Morais  
  • PMID: 15517077
  •     6 citations


The present study was designed to assess the intestinal absorption of D-xylose and jejunal morphometry in rats with iron-deficiency anemia. Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into a control group (diet containing 50 mg Fe/kg, N = 12) and an anemic group (diet containing <5 mg Fe/kg, N = 12). The animals were housed in individual metabolic cages and deionized water and diet were provided ad libitum for 6 weeks. Hemoglobin and hematocrit were determined at 0, 2, 4, and 6 weeks. At the end of the study the rats were submitted to a D-xylose absorption test (50 mg/100 g body weight) and sacrificed and a jejunal specimen was obtained for morphometric study. At the end of the study the hemoglobin and hematocrit of the anemic rats (8.7 +/- 0.9 g/dl and 34.1 +/- 2.9%, respectively) were significantly (P < 0.05) lower than those of the controls (13.9 +/- 1.4 g/dl and 47.1 +/- 1.5%, respectively). There was no statistical difference in D-xylose absorption between the anemic (46.5 +/- 7.4%) and control (43.4 +/- 9.0%) groups. The anemic animals presented statistically greater villus height (445.3 +/- 36.8 microm), mucosal thickness (614.3 +/- 56.3 microm) and epithelial surface (5063.0 +/- 658.6 microm) than control (371.8 +/- 34.3, 526.7 +/- 62.3 and 4401.2 +/- 704.4 microm, respectively; P < 0.05). The increase in jejunum villus height, mucosal thickness and epithelial surface in rats with iron-deficiency anemia suggests a compensatory intestinal mechanism to increase intestinal iron absorption.

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