The effect of glucocorticoids on the intestinal transport of water, electrolytes, and glucose in the infancy period is not known. Therefore, we studied the effect of parenteral glucocorticoids on intestinal transport of water, electrolytes and glucose in suckling rats with an in vivo single pass perfusion technique. Glucocorticoids enhanced significantly net sodium transport only in the colon segments compared to controls. Net sodium transport in the small intestinal segments was similar in glucocorticoid and control groups. Similar to adult animals, glucocorticoids enhanced glucose transport in the ileum, but not in jejunum segments. Net potassium absorption was decreased five-fold in jejunum segments and reversed to net secretion in the ileum and colon segments by glucocorticoids. These results are the first to extend the known effects of glucocorticoids into the infancy period. Speculation: The lack of enhancement in intestinal sodium transport with glucocorticoids in the suckling rat may suggest a maturational phenomenon. It is possible that a steroid sensitive mechanism in the adult animal intestine has not yet appeared in the suckling intestine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health