The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a model of intestinal extrinsic denervation on mucosal structure and function. Six dogs underwent in situ neural isolation of the jejunoileum (Group 2); six other dogs served as operated controls (Group 1), and five nonoperated dogs were naive controls (Group 3). Thirty-centimeter segments of proximal jejunum and distal ileum were excised before (time zero) and at 2 weeks and 8 weeks postoperatively in Groups 1 and 2, while similar regions were removed at time zero in Group 3. Tissues were analyzed for morphology with quantitative morphometry, mucosal disaccharidase activities (sucrase, maltase, and lactase), and tissue content of selected regulatory peptides in transmural, mucosa/submucosa, and muscularis regions. In situ neural isolation had no significant or consistent effects on morphology/morphometry or on mucosal disaccharidase activities. Tissue content of neuropeptide Y decreased markedly (P < 0.002) in all layers of the jejunal and ileal walls, but tissue content of vasoactive inhibitory polypeptide, substance P, cholecystokinin, neurotensin, met-enkephalin, neurokinin A, somatostatin, and calcitonin gene- related peptide demonstrated only minor changes. The physiologic effects of intestinal transplantation (extrinsic denervation and disruption of intrinsic, enteric neural continuity, and lymphatic drainage) have little effect on morphology, mucosal disaccharidase activity, and tissue content of most regulatory peptides. How these minor alterations might affect enteric function, however, needs to be investigated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas