Published online Nov 21, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i43.4799
Revised: April 19, 2011
Accepted: April 26, 2011
Published online: November 21, 2011
AIM: To evaluate the effect of autoclaved diet on the jejunum neurons of the myenteric plexus of rats during their growth.
METHODS: The experimental groups were made up of rats going through weaning whose mothers received either an autoclaved or a non-autoclaved diet during gestation and lactation, and rats that were fed the same diet as their mothers during the post-weaning period. In order to measure the neurons’ body profile and to quantify the number of neurons per area, preparations were stained by the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-diaphorase method.
RESULTS: No significant changes were observed in rats’ body weight or in the number of neurons regardless of the diet used (P > 0.05). There was a decrease in the jejunum-ileum length in rats treated with an autoclaved diet (P < 0.05). An increase in the neuronal cross-sectional area was seen in rats that had received the autoclaved diet, an effect that was significant for animals undergoing weaning. In addition, all observed factors showed significant differences when related to the age of the animals.
CONCLUSION: The autoclaved diet did not alter the quantity of neurons, but increased their cell body area, suggesting changes similar to those observed in protein deficiency.