Avascular fetal rat intestine becomes vascularized and grows and develops certain properties of normal small intestine when transplanted into the subcutaneous tissues of host syngeneic rats. We quantified the blood flow to this transplanted intestine (called "neogut") to clarify the role of angiogenesis in its growth and development. Additionally, we correlated blood flow and the growth of neogut into either patent tubular segments or large saccular segments with associated strictures. Blood flow was studied using 141Ce or 85Sr labeled microspheres. Blood flows are expressed as mean ± SEM in (ml/min · g). Neogut blood flow (0.19 ± 0.02) was greater than that of adjacent subcutaneous tissue (0.03 ± 0.00, P < 0.01) but less than that of native small bowel (0.85 ± 0.07, P < 0.01). The blood flow to the large saccular segments (0.10 ± 0.01) was less than that to the tubular portions (0.27 ± 0.02, P < 0.01). The weight of neogut was comparable to that of native small bowel. These findings demonstrate that neogut implants stimulate angiogenesis to a degree which may be sufficient for it to absorb nutrients. Furthermore, ischemia is present in large saccular neogut segments with associated strictures. Additional investigation appears warranted to see if neogut can serve as a clinically useful small bowel substitute.
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