Acute uremia was induced in rats with temporary clamping of the left renal pedicle and contralateral nephrectomy. Jejunal peptidase activities (aminopeptidase N, dipeptidyl peptidase IV and aminopeptidase A), disaccharidase activities (maltase, sucrase, lactase and trehalase) and morphology were studied. A significant (p < 0.05) increase in aminopeptidase N activity and a positive correlation between aminopeptidase N activity and serum urea was found in the uremic rats. The other peptidase activities showed a slight increase in the uremic rats. A shortening of the microvilli of the small intestinal epithelial cells in the uremic rats was seen by electron microscopy. The disaccharidase activities were unaltered. This study shows the presence of functional alterations in the small intestine in rats with acute uremia. The observations are also compatible with different regulation mechanisms for the brush border peptidases and disaccharidases.

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