Background and Aims: Intestinal adaptation is a complex physiological process that is not completely understood. Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) induces intestinal atrophy that is prevented by the systemic administration of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as measured by morphological indices (i.e., mucosal weight and mucosal DNA, RNA, and protein concentration). The aim of this study was to examine the effect of SCFA-supplemented TPN on functional markers of intestinal adaptation. Methods: Forty-eight male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent an 80% jejuno-ileal resection and jugular catheterization. Rats received standard TPN or an isoenergetic, isonitrogenous TPN supplemented with SCFA (TPN + SCFA). Animals were further randomized to receive nutrient solutions for 3 or 7 days. Results: Ileal uptakes of D-glucose were higher (P < 0.05) in both TPN + SCFA groups. Expression of glucose transporter (GLUT)2 messenger RNA (mRNA) was higher (P < 0.007) in the TPN + SCFA group at day 3. Expression of sodium-dependent glucose transporter 1 tended to be higher in both TPN + SCFA groups (P = 0.1). Na+,K+-adenosine triphosphatase mRNA was significantly more abundant in the TPN groups. GLUT5 and sucrase-isomaltase mRNA abundance did not differ between groups. Conclusions: Intravenous SCFAs facilitate intestinal adaptation after resection by increasing basolateral intestinal nutrient transport. The addition of SCFAs to current TPN formulations may be warranted to improve functional characteristics of the gastrointestinal tract.
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