Diverse effects of phytohaemagglutinin on gastrointestinal secretions in rats

Krisztina Kordás, Beáta Burghardt, Krisztina Kisfalvi, Susan Bardocz, Árpád Pusztai, Gábor Varga

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Kidney bean lectin phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) is known for its binding capacity to the small intestinal surface inducing marked hyperplasia and hypertrophy and an increased pancreatic function. Recent observations indicate that PHA is able to attach to gastric mucosal and parietal cells. Therefore, we compared the effects of PHA on gastric acid secretion, and pancreatic amylase secretion in rats. To study gastric secretion in conscious animals, rats were surgically prepared with chronic stainless steel gastric cannula and with indwelling polyethylene jugular vein catheter. Acid secretion was determined by titration of the collected gastric juice to pH 7.0. Similar studies were performed to investigate the effect of PHA on pancreatic enzyme secretion in conscious rats supplied with pancreatic cannula. Pancreatic enzyme secretion was also studied in rats anesthetized with either halothane or urethane. In conscious rats PHA significantly inhibited basal acid secretion when compared to vehicle-treated controls. The effect was dose-dependent and reversible. On the other hand, given in the same doses as in the acid-secretory studies, PHA stimulated pancreatic amylase secretion in rats prepared with chronic pancreatic cannula. This effect was blocked by devazepide, a CCK-A receptor antagonist. In halothane- anesthetized rats PHA administration increased pancreatic amylase secretion, too. During urethane anesthesia, however, the stimulatory effect of PHA was not observed. These results provide evidence that intragastric PHA treatment induces opposite effects on gastric acid secretion and pancreatic enzyme secretion: it is a potent inhibitor of acid output, and a stimulator of pancreatic enzyme discharge. Our data also show that the stimulatory effect of PHA on pancreatic enzyme secretion can be blocked by urethane, an anaesthetic that is known to turn off the negative pancreatic feedback control of pancreatic function in rats. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physiology Paris
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000



  • Lectin
  • Pancreas
  • Phytohaemagglutinin
  • Secretion
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology (medical)

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