Background: The authors have previously documented that feeding mice an elemental diet resulted in bacterial translocation (BT) that could be prevented by the provision of dietary fiber. To test whether the protective effect of fiber was related to the stimulation of trophic gut hormones, the effects of sandostatin and bombesin were tested. Methods: Mice fed either chow or the elemental diet were stratified into several groups and the ability of bombesin (10 μg/kg, tid) or sandostatin (100 μg/kg bid) to modulate BT was examined. After 14 days, mice were sacrificed and BT, cecal bacterial population levels, mucosal protein, and small bowel weight was measured. Segments of the ileum and jejunum were examined histologically. Results: Incidence of elemental diet-induced BT (75%) was reduced by fiber (9%) or the administration of bombesin (13%) (p < 0.01). Although sandostatin did not promote BT in chow-fed mice, it reversed the protective effect of fiber on BT (75%) (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Elemental diet-induced bacterial translocation can be modulated hormonally and the beneficial effects of fiber on diet-induced BT appears to be hormonally mediated.
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