Partial (60%) resection of rat small bowel was performed in order to obtain a model of intestinal mucosal hyperplasia for studying specific insulin binding. The affinity, but not the binding capacity, of insulin receptors in the adaptive mucosa decreased three and seven days following enterectomy. This modification took place only in crypt cells but not in mature villous cells. Since plasma insulin levels were not altered by the surgical manipulation, the observed decrease of insulin binding could not be related to regulation by insulin concentration. These results do not support a trophic role of insulin on intestinal mucosa and appear to be more a consequence of the hyperactive status of proliferation and differentiation at the mucosat level.

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