Gastrointestinal absorption of epidermal growth factor in suckling rats

W. Thornburg, L. Matrisian, B. Magun, O. Koldovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Epidermal growth factor (EGF) was detected in the milk of adult lactating Sprague-Dawley female rats (38.85 ng/ml) and in the stomach (37.25 ng/g content) and plasma (32.36 ng/ml) of 13-day-old suckling offspring. Sixty-nanogram (0.12 mCi/ml) doses of 125I-EGF were administered orally to sucklings in 200 μl of buffer for 0, 0.5, 1.0, and 3.0 h. Lung, liver, kidney, brain, and blood each contained 1% or less of the administered radioactivity. Stomach wall (8%) and content (63%), intestinal wall (15%) and flushing (38%), and skin (18%) contained larger amounts reaching maxima in these three regions at 0, 0.5, and 3.0 h, respectively. Except for skin, a substantial amount of radioactivity from all tissues represented intact (6-90%) and immunoreactive (3-90%) EGF based on Sephadex G-25 chromatography and anti-EGF antibody binding, respectively. From 30 to 55% of the radioactivity from wall (gastric or small intestinal) or lumina was also capable of binding to A-431 cell surface receptors. Isoelectric points of major species found in stomach (4.2), intestine (4.1), and other tissues differed from that of administered EGF (4.5).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G80-G85
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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