Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Influence of short-chain fatty acids and osmolality on mucin release in the rat colon

  • 39 Accesses

  • 16 Citations


The influence of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and osmolality on mucin release in the rat colon was studied histochemically by determining number of stained mucin-containing cells. SCFA did not significantly influence the number of cells staining for mucin. Hypertonic solutions (360 mosm/l) did not affect mucin release in the proximal colon, but stimulated mucin release in the distal colon. Solutions of lower osmolality (300 or 250 mosm/l) caused a considerable release of mucin from goblet cells as well as vacuolated cells in both the proximal and the distal colon; the lower the osmolality, the more mucin was released. The mucosa of the distal colon was conspicuously affected by solutions of lower osmolality. The influence of osmolality on mucin release was entirely local.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bennett G, Leblond CP, Haddad A (1974) Migration of glycoprotein from the Golgi apparatus to the surface of various cell types as shown by radioautography after labelled fucose injection into rats. J Cell Biol 60:258–284

  2. Chang WWL, Leblond CP (1971) Renewal of the epithelium in the descending colon of the mouse. I. Presence of three cell populations: vacuolated columnar, mucous and argentaffin. Am J Anat 131:73–100

  3. Demigné C, Rémésy C, Rayssiguier Y (1980) Effect of fermentable carbohydrates on volatile fatty acids, ammonia and mineral absorption in the rat cecum. Reprod Nutr Dev 20:1351–1359

  4. Ernst H (1980) Resorption von kurzkettigen Fettsäuren, anorganischen Ionen und Wasser im proximalen und im distalen Colon der Ratte. Diplomarbeit Stuttgart-Hohenheim

  5. Florey H (1930) The secretion of mucus by the colon. Brit J Exp Pathol 11:348–361

  6. Florey H (1955) Mucin and the protection of the body. Proc R Soc Lond (Biol) 143:147–158

  7. Hollmann KH (1965) Über den Einbau des Rectumepithels. Z Zellforsch 68:502–542

  8. Hoskins LC (1978) Degradation of mucus glycoproteins in the gastrointestinal tract. In: The glycoconjugates. Vol 2. Academic Press, London, New York, pp 235–253

  9. Keppel G (1973) Design and analysis: A researcher's handbook. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs

  10. LaMont JT, Ventola A (1977) Stimulation of colonic glycoprotein synthesis by dibutyryl cyclic AMP and theophyline. Gastroenterology 72:82–86

  11. Lukie BE, Westergaard H, Dietschy JM (1974) Validation of a chamber that allows measurement of both tissue uptake rates and unstirred layer thicknesses in the intestine under conditions of controlled stirring. Gastroenterology 67:652–661

  12. MacDermott RP, Donaldson RM Jr, Trier JS (1974) Glycoprotein synthesis and secretion by mucosal biopsies of rabbit colon and human rectum. J Clin Invest 54:545–554

  13. Neutra M, Leblond CP (1966) Synthesis of the carbohydrate of mucus in the Golgi complex as shown by electron microscope radioautography of goblet cells from rats injected with glucose-3H. J Cell Biol 30:119–136

  14. Neutra MR, Grand RJ, Trier JS (1977) Glycoprotein synthesis, transport and secretion by epithelial cells of human rectal mucosa. Lab Invest 36:535–546

  15. Nimmerfall F, Rosenthaler J (1980) Significance of the goblet-cell mucin layer, the outer most luminal barrier to passage through the gut wall. Biochem Biophys Res Comm 94:960–966

  16. Rechkemmer G, Engelhardt W v (1981) Absorption of sodium chloride and SCFA in the proximal, transversal and distal colon of the guinea pig. Pflügers Arch 389: R47

  17. Rechkemmer G, Wahl M, Kuschinsky W, Engelhardt W v (1979) pH-microclimate at the surface of the intestine in guinea pig and rat. Pflügers Arch 382:R 31

  18. Sakata T, Engelhardt W v (1981) Luminal mucin in the large intestine of mice, rats and guinea pigs. Cell Tissue Res (in press)

  19. Sakata T, Hikosaka K, Shiomura Y, Tamate H (1980) The stimulatory effect of butyrate on epithelial cell proliferation in the rumen of the sheep and its mediation by insulin: differences between in vivo and in vitro. In: Appleton DR, Sunter JP, Watson AJ (eds) Cell proliferation in the gastrointestinal tract. Pitman Medical, Tunbridge Wells, pp 123–137

  20. Sheahan DG, Jervis HR (1976) Comparative histochemistry of gastrointestinal mucosubstances. Am J Anat 146:103–132

  21. Smith B, Butler M (1974) The autonomic control of colonic mucin secretion in the mouse. Br J Exp Pathol 55:615–621

  22. Wrong OM, Edmonds CJ, Chadwick VS (1981) The large intestine: Its role in mammalian nutrition and homeostasis. MTP Press, Lancaster

  23. Yokokura T, Yajima T, Hashimoto S (1977) Effect of organic acid on gastrointestinal motility of rat in vitro. Life Sci 21:59–62

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to W. v. Engelhardt.

Additional information

Supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (En 65/9)

The authors wish to thank Prof. H. Höller and G. Rechkemmer for critical advice and Miss G. Becker for technical assistance

A preliminary portion of this study was presented at the 3rd Meeting of the European Intestinal Transport Group, Southampton, 21.–23. April, 1980

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sakata, T., Engelhardt, W.v. Influence of short-chain fatty acids and osmolality on mucin release in the rat colon. Cell Tissue Res. 219, 371–377 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00210155

Download citation

Key words

  • Short-chain fatty acids
  • Osmolality
  • Mucin release
  • Colon (rat)
  • Histochemistry
  • Goblet cells
  • Vacuolated cells