Purpose Intestinal adaptation structurally represents increases in crypt depth and villus height in response to small bowel resection (SBR). Previously, we found that neither epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) nor insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) function was individually required for normal adaptation. In this study, we sought to determine the effect of disrupting both EGFR and IGF1R expression on resection-induced adaptation. Methods Intestinal-specific EGFR and IGF1R double knockout mice (EGFR/IGF1R-IKO) (n = 6) and wild-type (WT) control mice (n = 7) underwent 50% proximal SBR. On postoperative day (POD) 7, structural adaptation was scored by measuring crypt depth and villus height. Rates of crypt cell proliferation, apoptosis, and submucosal capillary density were also compared. Results After 50% SBR, normal adaptation occurred in both WT and EGFR/IGF1R-IKO. Rates of proliferation and apoptosis were no different between the two groups. The angiogenic response was less in the EGFR/IGF1R-IKO compared to WT mice. Conclusion Disrupted expression of EGFR and IGF1R in the intestinal epithelial cells does not affect resection-induced structural adaptation but attenuates angiogenesis after SBR. These findings suggest that villus growth is driven by receptors and pathways that occur outside the epithelial cell component, while angiogenic responses may be influenced by epithelial-endothelial crosstalk.
- Epidermal growth factor receptor
- Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor
- Intestinal adaptation
- Short gut syndrome