1. Water absorption rates by small intestine in vitro and the incidence of diarrhoea in vivo were estimated after 5-fluorouracil was injected into rats at various times of day and night.

2. Impairment of water absorption and the incidence of diarrhoea were minimal in rats on a normal dietary regimen when the 5-fluorouracil was injected at around 02.00 hours.

3. the DNA content of the mucosa of the small intestine from uninjected animals also showed a diurnal variation, with a maximum at around 03.00 hours.

4. Manipulation of the time of injections (possibly in relation to feeding time) provides a potential means for increasing the therapeutic value of 5-fluorouracil.

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