Maternal deprivation alters epithelial secretory cell lineages in rat duodenum: role of CRF-related peptides.

PMID 20551459


Chronic psychological stress is associated with development of intestinal barrier dysfunction and impairs host defence mechanisms. The intestinal epithelium, consisting of enterocytes, endocrine cells, goblet cells and Paneth cells, is an important component of this barrier. In the present study, the impact of maternal deprivation (MD) on secretory lineages of duodenal epithelium and the involvement of the peripheral corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) pathway were investigated. Rat pups were deprived of their dam for 3 h/day (days 5-20). Non-deprived pups served as controls. On days 8, 13, 20, 24, 34, 44 and 84, duodenal tissues were collected for quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry studies. MD induced a sustained decrease in the number of Paneth and goblet cells but hyperplasia of endocrine cells. These alterations were associated with a duodenal increase of CRF, urocortin 2 and CRF receptor subtype 2 (CRFR(2)) mRNA, whereas CRFR(1) expression was decreased. The effects of MD on intestinal epithelium were inhibited by the CRFR(1)/R(2) antagonist astressin injected daily before MD. Studies using specific receptor antagonists in rats subjected to MD revealed that CRFR(1) was involved in the hyperplasia of endocrine cells and CRFR(2) in the depletion of Paneth cells. Conversely, daily injection of CRF and of the CRFR(2) agonist urocortin 2 in control rats resulted in changes in epithelial differentiation similar to MD. The activation of CRFR(1) and CRFR(2) induced by MD markedly altered the quantitative distribution of secretory cells of the intestinal epithelium. These alterations, in particular the depletion of Paneth and goblet cells, may create conditions leading to the development of an epithelial barrier defect.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

A4933 Astressin, ≥90% (HPLC)