Sucrase activity in the intestine of the chick: Normal development and influence of hydrocortisone, actinomycin D, cycloheximide, and puromycin

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Sucrase activity in the intestine of the chick embryo increases to a pre‐hatching maximum at 19 days. A significant decrease in activity occurs by 20 days, followed by rapid increases in the jejunum and the ileum after hatching, while duodenal activity continues to decrease. The injection of hydrocortisone resulted in significant increases in sucrase activity. The decrease in activity that normally occurred after 19 days was delayed until after 20 days. The hydrocortisone‐induced increases were completely abolished when cycloheximide was administered two or three days after the hormone injection. When actinomycin D was administered at 16 days, there were significant increases in sucrase activity at 18 days, and the maximum activity was produced at 19 days. High activities were obtained when actinomycin D was injected at 17 days. The administration of cycloheximide at 14 or 16 days did not change the sucrase activity through 19 days, but the 20‐day decrease was prevented. Large increases in activity were observed at 20 days when the antibiotic was injected at 17 days. Histological preparations revealed that these two antibiotics did not produce abnormalities in the epithelial cells of the tissues. Puromycin injection inhibited the normal decrease at 20 days. Actinomycin D and cycloheximide were injected simultaneously at 16 days. Cycloheximide did not prevent the elevation of sucrase activity caused by actinomycin D. It is suggested that the development of sucrase activity in the chick intestine may consist of a phase of activation followed by a phase of inhibition. In the first phase, de novo synthesis can apparently be evoked by hydrocortisone. Copyright © 1971 Wiley‐Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company

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