Our research program investigates the potential for nutrients to act as trophic factors in the small intestine to facilitate intestinal adaptation and recovery following injury. Using the Yucatan miniature neonatal piglet, we have developed two models of intestinal injury. One model is intestinal atrophy induced by parenteral (IV) feeding. The second is a model of short bowel syndrome, following the surgical shortening of the small intestine. Both models are relevant pre-clinical models for the human neonate. Using these models, we conduct chronic feeding studies to describe changes in amino acid metabolism, protein synthesis and intestinal adaptation . We are also interested in determining how intestinal injury, or the absence of small intestinal first-pass metabolism (such as during intravenous feeding, or short bowel syndrome) will alter amino acid requirements in the rapidly growing neonate.
Brunton-Bertolo Lab Group