Effect of spermine administration on pancreatic maturation in unweaned rats.

N. Romain, M.S. Gesell, O. Leroy, Ph. Forget, G. Dandrifosse*, G.D. Luk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Biochemistry and General Physiology, University of Liege, Belgium.

The effect of oral administration of spermine on pancreatic maturation was investigated in the suckling rat. The treatment consisted of 0.3-0.4 mmol spermine kg-1 body weight given orally once a day for 3 days starting at day 11 after birth. Spermine administration does not adversely affect the growth of the pancreas (wet weight, protein and DNA contents remain unchanged). The proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) index decreases significantly in spermine-treated rats, indicating that spermine slows down the proliferation rate of the organ. The enzymatic activities of trypsin, chymotrypsin and alpha-amylase are increased significantly in the pancreas of spermine-treated rats. The morphology of the organ seems affected as shown by hematoxylin-eosin staining: a cytoplasm indicative of higher synthetic activity is visible after spermine treatment. We conclude that spermine treatment of unweaned rats can induce precocious biochemical and morphological maturation of the exocrine pancreas, pushing the organ forward in the process of differentiation (closer to the adult stage).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-384
Number of pages6
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology A-molecular & Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

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