Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 440, Issue 1–2, pp 53–64 | Cite as

Suppression of methionine-induced colon injury of young rats by cysteine and N-acetyl-l-cysteine

  • Marija Stojanović
  • Ljiljana Šćepanović
  • Dušan Todorović
  • Dušan Mitrović
  • Vuk Šćepanović
  • Radomir Šćepanović
  • Slobodan Ilić
  • Teja Šćepanović
  • Milica Labudović Borović
  • Živana Milićević
  • Vesna Dragutinović
  • Sunčica Borozan
  • Ivana Lalić
  • Sanja Despotović
  • Dragan Djuric


Changes in the methionine metabolism can cause a state called hyperhomocysteinemia, inducing oxidative stress in the gut. The production of free radicals is important in the colon damage caused by methionine. This study aimed at evaluating the effect of the use of l-cysteine and N-acetyl-l-cysteine on the colon morphometry of young rats treated with methionine. A total number of 32 male rats were distributed in a randomized experimental design in 4 groups: control group treated with saline; methionine group; cysteine + methionine group, and N-acetyl-l-cysteine + methionine group. After 21 days of treatment, rats were sacrificed and the colon samples were taken for histological and biochemical analysis. Methionine load increased depth of crypts, the lamina muscularis mucosae thickness, the mucosal height, and the number of cells in lamina propria (p < 0.01). Combination of methionine with l-cysteine (C group) and with N-acetyl-l-cysteine (N group) reversed methionine effects. Methionine treatment increased the GPx activity and MDA concentration, while l-cysteine and N-acetyl-l-cysteine increased the catalase activity compared to methionine group. It was concluded that the use of l-cysteine and N-acetyl-l-cysteine was beneficial to decrease intestinal mucosal height and oxidative damage when methionine was used in combination with them.


Methionine Colon Morphometry Oxidative stress Rat 



This work was supported by a Grant 175043 from Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Serbia.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Medical Faculty University of Belgrade.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marija Stojanović
    • 1
  • Ljiljana Šćepanović
    • 1
  • Dušan Todorović
    • 1
  • Dušan Mitrović
    • 1
  • Vuk Šćepanović
    • 2
  • Radomir Šćepanović
    • 3
  • Slobodan Ilić
    • 4
  • Teja Šćepanović
    • 5
  • Milica Labudović Borović
    • 6
  • Živana Milićević
    • 6
  • Vesna Dragutinović
    • 7
  • Sunčica Borozan
    • 8
  • Ivana Lalić
    • 6
  • Sanja Despotović
    • 6
  • Dragan Djuric
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Medical Physiology “Richard Burian”Faculty of Medicine, University of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Institute for Neurosurgery, Clinical Center of SerbiaUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Belgrade University of Defense, Military Medical AcademyBelgradeSerbia
  4. 4.University Children’s Hospital, University of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  5. 5.Institute of NeonatologyBelgradeSerbia
  6. 6.Institute of Histology and Embryology “Aleksandar Đ. Kostić”Faculty of Medicine, University of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  7. 7.Institute of Medical ChemistryFaculty of Medicine, University of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  8. 8.Department of ChemistryFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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