Does L-arginine induce intestinal adaptation by epithelial growth factor?ANZ J Surg. 2005 Jan-Feb; 75(1-2):73-5.AJ
To evaluate whether L-Arginine has an effect on endogenous epidermal growth factor secretion and intestinal adaptation in massive small bowel resection an experimental study was performed.
Fourteen albino Wistar rats weighing 250-300 g were used for the study. After performing 50% small bowel resection and anastomosis the rats were randomly divided into two groups. The first group received 500 mg/kg/day of L-Arginine intraperitoneally for 14 days just after the surgical procedure. The control group received isotonic saline instead. Body weight measurement was preformed daily. At the end of the second postoperative week all rats underwent relaparotomy. Small bowel was resected for histopathological examination. Levels of epidermal growth factor were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in serum, saliva, and urine at the end of second postoperative week in both groups.
The weight gain was higher in the L-Arginine treated group (P < 0.05). Serum, saliva and urinary epidermal growth factor levels were significantly higher at the end of the second week compared to the control group (P < 0.05). The villus height was higher on histopathological examination in L-Arginine treated group compared to the control group (P < 0.05).
L-Arginine resulted in a better intestinal adaptation after massive bowel resection. The high levels of epidermal growth factor in body fluids of L-Arginine treated rats could be the explanation for this effect.