Ethanol induced changes in glycosylation of mucins in rat intestine

Authors R.K. Grewal, A . Mahmood.


The epithelial surface of intestinal tract is covered by a mucosal layer, which constitutes the first line of defense against exposure of a variety of exogenous or endogenous agents. This epithelial coat is rich in mucins, secreted by goblet cells. In the present study, we investigated the effect of feeding 1 ml of 30% ethanol daily for different durations on mucin glycosylation in rat intestine. Ethanol feeding for 15 days had no effect, but the mucin secretion from goblet cells was enhanced in rats exposed to ethanol for 25-56 days. Alkaline phosphatase and sucrase activities were augmented in luminal mucins of animals fed ethanol for 25-56 days compared to controls.Chemical analysis, revealed an increase in hexose and sialic acid contents but reduced levels of fucose of mucins, in rats treated with ethanol for 25-56 days compared to controls.These alterations may be of pathological significance, since mucins are involved in protection and adhesion of microorganisms in intestinal lumen.
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