Effect of tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase in maintenance of structure of murine colon and stomach

J. S. Shao, M. Engle, Q. Xie, R. E. Schmidt, S. Narisawa, J. L. Millan, D. H. Alpers

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7 Scopus citations


The gastrointestinal tract of mammals secretes a phospholipid-rich membrane that is enriched in alkaline phosphatase (AP) and surfactant proteins (surfactant-like particle, SLP). The production of this particle is stimulated in the small intestine by fat feeding and in cultured cells in vitro by transfection with intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP). To test whether tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) was a factor in stimulating surfactant-like particle production in stomach and colon (tissues expressing TNAP), mice lacking this enzyme were studied. Mice were harvested at 8 days of life, when body weight of homozygous animals (TNAP -/-) was about half that of congenic controls (TNAP +/+) or heterozygotes (TNAP +/-), but before seizures had begun. No difference in content of the major SLP protein (65 kDa) by Western blotting or immunocytochemistry was seen in stomach or colon of TNAP -/- vs. TNAP +/+ animals, but the content was only about half in the IAP-expressing small bowel. Transmission electron microscopy of the TNAP -/- small bowel showed large dilated lysosomes and residual bodies. Colonocytes and gastric surface epithelial cells from the same animals showed mitochondria containing homogeneous dense inclusions, consistent with neutral lipid. In the underweight homozygous animals, there was a decrease in the neuronal content of submucosal ganglia in the jejunum and ileum and of myenteric ganglia in the jejunum of TNAP -/- animals. These findings suggest that (1) TNAP is not important in maintaining surfactant-like particle content of tissues that express TNAP, (2) normal fat absorption is important in maintaining SLP content in the small intestine, and (3) TNAP is important in the maintenance of some intestinal structures, and perhaps their function. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2000


  • Enteric neurons
  • Surfactant-like particle
  • Tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase


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