Sprague-Dawley rats that had been subjected 2 months previously to partial resection (10 per cent) of the small intestine and an equal number of control rats were injected with tritiated thymidine and sacrificed at intervals during the subsequent 16 hours. Segments of duodenum, jejunum and ileum were prestained by the Feulgen technique and radioautographed. The proportion of crypt cells bearing labeled nuclei, the percentage of labeled crypt cells in mitosis and the appearance of labeled crypt cells on the villi were determined. Comparison of control and resected rats showed that (a) the proportion of intestinal crypt cells incorporating thymidine was considerably greater and uniformly high throughout the shortened intestine, (b) the life cycle of crypt cells was slightly reduced, and was uniform throughout the shortened intestine, and (c) the time during which cells were retained in crypts was markedly reduced. On the basis of persistent, generalized increase in the production of crypt cells, and on prior evidence that the epithelial cells of shortened intestine continue to have a brief life span and evidence of metabolic immaturity, the existence of a humoral factor, tentatively called "intestinal epithelial growth hormone," is postulated.

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