No significant changes occurred after 3 d of TPN. Feeding colostrum or milk replacer for 2 d after TPN was associated with an increased crypt depth. Only enteral feeding with colostrum resulted in an increased villus height and mitotic index. Neither TPN nor enteral feeding changed the distribution pattern of ECMP or the occurrence of bifid crypts. The immature distribution pattern of ECMP in TPN-fed piglets, coupled with unchanged enterocyte mitosis and apoptosis indices, showed that feeding preterm pigs 3 d TPN does not lead to mucosal atrophy. Despite the invariable distribution of ECMP, colostrum was associated with crypt hyperplasia resulting in an increased villus height.
These data illustrate that some mechanisms regulating cell turnover are immature in preterms and may in part explain the abnormal gut responses to total parenteral nutrition and enteral feeding in prematurely born pigs.
M Oste, M De Vos, E Van Haver, L Van Brantegem, T Thymann, P Sangild, A Weyns and C Van Ginneken, 2010. British Journal of Nutrition, 104, 989–997.