Effect of milk on somatostatin degradation in suckling rat jejunum in vivo

Radhakrishna K. Rao, Thomas P. Davis, Catherine Williams, Otakar Koldovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Somatostatin-14 is present in breast milk, and intact somatostatin-14 has been recovered from gastric lumen of infants. Studies have shown that somatostatin-14 is metabolized in the intestinal luminal contents in vitro, which could be prevented by the presence of breast milk. In this study, the effect of milk on stability of somatostatin-14 in suckling rat jejunum in vivo was examined. Methods: 125I-Somatostatin-14[Tyr 11] was administered to the isolated jejunal loops in anesthetized suckling rats in the absence or presence of milk, fractions of milk, or known protease- peptidase inhibitors. Structural integrity of 125Isomatostatin-14[Tyr 11] recovered from tissues at different intervals was analyzed by gel filtration and high-performance liquid chromatography. Results: Radioactivity rapidly disappeared from the jejunal lumen with a 50% clearance achieved by 1.2 minutes. Gel filtration and high-performance liquid chromatography analyses showed that 125I-somatostatin-14[Tyr 11 ] was rapidly degraded into smaller fragments. At I minute, jejunal luminal radioactivity was eluted in a major peak with retention time of 42.4 minutes, along with other minor peaks (retention time, 5.6, 8.0, 10.4, and 14.4 minutes); only a trace amount of intact 125Isomatostatin-14[Tyr 11] (retention time, 44.8 minutes) was present. Coadministration of rat's milk or its soluble fraction increased the level of intact 125I-somatostatin-14[Tyr 11] in the jejunal lumen and jejunal tissue. Presence of rat's milk-casein or peptidase inhibitors (bestatin, phosphoramidon, or Bowman - Birk inhibitor), however, failed to increase the level of intact 125I-somatostatin - 14 [Tyr 11 ]. Conclusion: These results suggest that somatostatin-14 is rapidly degraded in the jejunal lumen of suckling rats, and that milk-borne peptidase inhibitors prevent this somatostatin-14 degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-94
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999


  • Development
  • Digestion
  • Intestine
  • Peptide
  • Protease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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