Gut hormones and growth factors are likely to be involved in the functional changes and substantial growth of the alimentary tract that occurs during early neonatal life. The present experiments investigated the effects of continuous subcutaneous infusion of cholecystokinin (CCK), secretin, and epidermal growth factor (EGF) in neonatal guinea pigs for 4 or 15 days. At doses of 20, 100 or 500 pmol/kg/h, CCK and secretin had no effect on alimentary tract organs except for an increase in pancreatic weight at 4 days with the highest dose of CCK and an increase in stomach weight at 4 days with the highest dose of secretin. In contrast, EGF showed dose-dependent and time-dependent effects on all the alimentary tract organs when infused at 70, 210 and 630 pmol/kg/h. These results suggest that EGF, but not CCK or secretin, is likely to be an important trophic factor during the neonatal period.
- Epidermal growth factor
- Gastrointestinal growth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Biology