Physiol. Res. 53: 415-422, 2004

Effect of Adrenalectomy on the Activity of Small Intestine Enzymes in Monosodium Glutamate Obese Rats


Institute of Animal Physiology, Slovak Academy of Sciences and 1Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Košice, Slovak Republic

Received December 19, 2002
Accepted September 16, 2003

It is well known that adrenalectomy (ADX) reverses the eating and energy balance disturbances in a variety of models of obesity associated with elevated food intake. We have previously demonstrated enhanced functional activity in the small intestine of neonatally monosodium glutamate-treated (MSG) obese rats despite the absence of overeating and we concluded that these changes might also contribute to the development of MSG obesity. The objective of the present experiments was to investigate whether ADX would affect the small intestinal functions and whether their changes would counteract attenuation or prevention of obesity development in MSG rats. Therefore the investigation was carried out in MSG-obese Wistar male rats and untreated intact rats adrenalectomized on day 40, as well as in lean littermates of MSG rats and intact rats subjected to Sham-ADX surgery. All animals had free access to a standard pellet diet after weaning. At the age of 80 days, body mass, body fat content and food consumption as well as changes of the brush-border-bound duodenal and jejunal alkaline phosphatase (AP), the dipeptidyl(amino)peptidase IV (DPP IV) and maltase activity were measured. During the postoperative period, ADX resulted in a significant decrease of mass gain in both MSG and control rats (P<0.05). ADX fully prevented the development of obesity in MSG rats (significantly decreased epididymal+retroperitoneal fat pad mass, P<0.05) and increased mean daily food intake (P<0.001). These effects were only minimal in the ADX controls suggesting that enhanced adrenal secretion is involved in the expression of MSG obesity and its complications. The AP activity in obese MSG rats was increased by about 21 % (P<0.01) in both intestinal segments when compared to the lean controls, whereas no parallel variations in the activities of DPP IV and maltase were observed in the intestinal parts mentioned. In MSG rats, ADX significantly reduced the AP activity in the duodenum and jejunum (P<0.01). A similar tendency was also seen in the DPP IV activity of adrenalectomized MSG rats as well as in lean control rats. Nevertheless, no significant effect of adrenal withdrawal on maltase activity was found. These results indicate that the decrease of enzyme activities in the small intestine and the different effectiveness of nutrient absorption might be a significant factor preventing the development of excess adiposity in glutamate-treated rats. This information contributes to a better understanding of the importance of small intestinal function for the development of obesity and its maintenance in later life.

Key words
Neonatal MSG treatment • Adrenalectomy • Small intestine enzymes • Obesity

© 2004 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences