Binding of microvillus membranes (MVM) from newborn and adult rats by concanavalin A (Con A), Ulex europaeus (UEA I), Dolichos bifluorus (DBA), and Triticum vulgaris (WGA) was examined to determine the availability of carbohydrate-containing sites for these lectins on the intestinal surface during development. Consistent patterns of differences in the reaction of MVM with these lectins were found. Con A and UEA had much higher reactivities to MVM of adult than newborn rats. 125I-labeled-UEA gel overlay experiments revealed the abundance of UEA-binding sites in MVM of adult rat in contrast to the two binding sites in MVM of a newborn rat. DBA bound only to MVM of the adults, and very few binding sites were found in immature MVM. In contrast to these lectins, WGA binding was much higher in MVM of the newborns and decreased with maturation. Additional experiments on the age dependence of UEA and DBA reactivities revealed that the most striking changes occur in animals from 2 to 4 wk of age. In MVM from 2-wk-old rats, there were only 13.9% and less than 0.2% of the adult binding capacities for UEA and DBA, respectively. By the time the animals were 4 wk old, the binding capacity for UEA had attained close to the level of the adults, whereas for DBA it reached 71.3% of the adult value. These results provide definite evidence of changes in the intestinal surface during perinatal development.
- Copyright © 1987 the American Physiological Society