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  • Author or Editor: P. Pusztai x
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A panel of orally administered lectins (100 mg/kg b.w.) of different binding specificities was tested for suppression of voluntary food consumption in prefasted rats. PHA isolectins (Phaseolus vulgaris) and RPA-I (Robinia pseudoacacia) were found to exert a marked and significant effect, but two other gut-binding lectins, i.e. SBA (Glycine max) and WGA (Triticum vulgare) and several non-binding lectins were ineffective. In cannulated rats PHA infused into the duodenum induced food suppression, i.e. binding of the lectin to the mouth or stomach was unnecessary. Suppression of food consumption lasted through the whole nocturnal feeding period, control (BSA) and experimental (PHA) curves of cumulative food consumption showed a V-like divergence. Suppression by PHA or RPA-I showed very similar time courses, but a long-lasting inhibition of gastric emptying was only observed in the RPA-treated animals. Intraperitoneally administered lectins suppressed food consumption much more effectively than the oral ones, whereas Galanthus nivalis agglutinin (GNA) had little or no effect. It is concluded that lectins can be used as effective tools for the modulation of food consumption and gastric emptying in experimental animals.

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Short-term effects of orally administered plant lectins, with special reference to the Phaseolus vulgaris agglutinin (phytohaemagglutinin, PHA), were studied in growing rats.  The orally administered PHA elicited a dose-dependent accumulation of liquor with elevated pH in the proximal small intestine. Although the concentration of a-amylase activity did not change, total a-amylase activity slightly, but significantly increased in the gut. When a panel of plant lectins with different carbohydrate binding specificities was tested at the dose of 100 mg/kg body weight, most of them stimulated the secretion of liquor, but the total a-amylase activity was increased only by PHA, ConA or WGA.

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Male Wistar rats wearing chronically implanted cortical electrodes were exposed to Mn-containing nanoparticles via the airways for 8 weeks following a 2-week pre-exposure period. The rats’ cortical electrical activity and open field motility was recorded simultaneously, in weekly repetitions. It was supposed that this technique can provide better insight in the development of Mn-induced CNS damage. Decreased motility (less distance covered, longer periods of immobility) and increased total power of cortical electrical activity developed in parallel in the first 4–5 weeks of treatment but showed little change afterwards. Both the behavioral and the electrophysiological effect were in fair correlation with the rats’ internal Mn exposure determined from brain samples. The results confirmed the non-linear dose- and time-dependence of Mn effects suggested by previous studies. Repeated simultaneous behavioral and electrophysiological recording during a longer treatment with neurotoxic metals (or other xenobiotics) seems to be a promising method.

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After oral administration several gut-binding lectins induce accumulation of liquor and amylase in the proximal small intestine (2). Orally administered Phaseolus vulgaris phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) was used to study the mediation of these effects in rats. The regulation of amylase secretion clearly differed from that of the liquor. The amylase activity was of pancreatic origin, in agreement with the known cholecystokinin-releasing effect of PHA. It appears that CCK exerts its effect both directly and by facilitating neural stimulatory pathways. Intestinal secretion was identified as the source of the liquor, without a contribution by other secretions. It was mediated by a local cholinergic reflex with the involvement of both muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. It is speculated that the observed enteric reflex may enable the gut to transport secreted antibacterial peptides or secretory antibodies from the crypts to adherent bacteria on adjacent villi.

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