American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology

A Combined Phytohemagglutinin And α-Ketoglutarate Pharmacology Study of Gut Morphology and Growth in Older Adult Rats

R. Filip, A. Harrison and S. G. Pierzynowski

DOI : 10.3844/ajptsp.2007.170.177

American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Volume 2, Issue 4

Pages 170-177


This study has evaluated the effect of phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) in combination with alpha-ketoglutaric acid (AKG), on GI-tract morphology and N balance in adult rats. Rats, aged approx. 15 months, were assigned to one of four experimental groups, (1) Control group, (2) AKG group, (3) AKG+PHA 100% group and (4) AKG+PHA 1% group. AKG and AKG+PHA were administered via a stomach tube. Rats were treated for a period of 7 days before being killed humanely. Lighter GI-tract weights were found in the AKG and AKG+PHA 1% groups (6.8%, p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively) compared to that of Control rats, whilst AKG+PHA 100% treatment resulted in no such loss of GI-tract total weight. Interestingly, AKG, AKG+PHA 1% and AKG+PHA 100% treatment resulted in a significant 114% (p<0.05), 116% (p<0.001) and a 145% (p<0.001), increase in duodenal crypt depth, respectively. Moreover, AKG, AKG+PHA 1% and AKG+PHA 100% treatment induced a 107% (p<0.05), 109% (p<0.001) and a 119% (p<0.001), increase in the thickness of the tunica mucosa of the proximal GI-tract, respectively. However, whilst there was a trend towards a reduction in N excretion in urine for the AKG+PHA 100% group, compared to that of the Controls (14.3% lower), this difference was not found to be statistically significant. In conclusion, a combination of PHA and AKG treatment (AKG+PHA 100%) stimulates proliferation of GI-tract crypt depth and tunica mucosa thickness cf. that of Control rats, findings that would be of benefit to the elderly and to individuals suffering from drug induced GI-tract erosion and injury.


© 2007 R. Filip, A. Harrison and S. G. Pierzynowski. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.