Background. In assorted animal models of small bowel resection (SBR), exogenous epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been shown to augment intestinal adaptation. This study was designed to elucidate the optimal dose, route, and timing of exogenous EGF to boost adaptation in our murine model of SBR. Methods. Male ICR mice underwent either 50% proximal SBR or sham surgery (bowel transection with reanastomosis) and then randomized to receive either saline or human recombinant EGF (5, 50, 150, or 300 μg/kg/day) by twice daily intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection or orogastric garage (o.g.). At 7 days, protein and DNA content, crypt depth, and villus height were determined in the ileum. The premium dose and route was then given for 1 week either during (1 week after SBR) or after the adaptive phase (1 month after SBR). Differences between group means were analyzed using ANOVA. A P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results. EGF enhanced DNA and protein content, crypt depth, and villus height to the greatest extent at a dosage of 50 μg/kg/day by the o.g. route. EGF had no significant effect on enhancing adaptation when given after the adaptive response had already occurred. Conclusions. Intestinal adaptation is optimally enhanced by a specific dose and route of EGF. Exogenous EGF enhances adaptation only during the adaptive response to SBR and not after it has already taken place. Determination of the best circumstances for EGF administration will permit a systematic approach toward understanding a mechanism for the beneficial effect of EGF during intestinal adaptation.
- Small bowel resection