Inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract and iron-deficiency anemia are very common in humans. Acute intestinal inflammation was pathologically established in rats by intraluminal administration of acetic acid into the duodenum and the proximal jejunum. The study included two control groups of intact (untreated) rats and sham-operated (saline-treated) rats for each intestinal segment. A third group of rats received acetic acid. The acetic acid-induced inflammatory process was established histopathologically and biochemically. Two days after treatment, iron absorption was measured using ligated 10-cm loops of proximal jejunum or ligated duodenum in which 59Fe was injected intraluminally (n = 6 in each group). In another four control groups (intact and sham-operated for each intestinal segment) and two acetic acid-treated groups, serosal-luminal secretion of 59Fe was measured after intravenous injection (n = 5 in each group). 59Fe transfer from the lumens of the duodenum and jejunum to the portal system was significantly lower in those rats in whom inflammation was induced by acetic acid. There was no apparent serosal-luminal secretion of intravenously injected 59Fe in any of the studied groups. We conclude that acetic acid-induced intestinal inflammation significantly reduces iron absorption by the duodenum and the proximal jejunum.
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This work was supported in part by the Chief Scientist’s Office, Israel Ministry of Health. We are most grateful to Prof. K. B. Raja, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, King’s College School of Medicine and Dentistry, for his helpful advice and comments.