Polyamines and Gut Mucosal Homeostasis | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2161-069X

Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System
Open Access

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Review Article

Polyamines and Gut Mucosal Homeostasis

Jennifer Timmons1, Elizabeth T. Chang1, Jian-Ying Wang1,2,3 and Jaladanki N. Rao1,3*
1Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA
2Department of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA
3Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA
Corresponding Author : Jaladanki N. Rao Ph.D
Department of Surgery
University of Maryland School of Medicine and
Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center
10 North Greene Street, Baltimore
MD 21201, USA
Tel: 410-605-7808
Fax: 410-605-7949
E-mail: [email protected]
Received January 25, 2012; Accepted February 20, 2012; Published February 22, 2012
Citation: Timmons J, Chang ET, Wang JY, Rao JN (2012) Polyamines and Gut Mucosal Homeostasis. J Gastroint Dig Syst S7:001. doi: 10.4172/2161-069X.S7-001
Copyright: © 2012 Timmons J, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The epithelium of gastrointestinal (GI) mucosa has the most rapid turnover rate of any tissue in the body
and its integrity is preserved through a dynamic balance between cell migration, proliferation, growth arrest and apoptosis. To maintain tissue homeostasis of the GI mucosa, the rates of epithelial cell division and apoptosis must be highly regulated by various extracellular and intracellular factors including cellular polyamines. Natural polyamines spermidine, spermine and their precursor putrescine, are organic cations in eukaryotic cells and are implicated in the control of multiple signaling pathways and distinct cellular functions. Normal intestinal epithelial growth depends on the available supply of polyamines to the dividing cells in the crypts, and polyamines also regulate intestinal epithelial
cell (IEC) apoptosis. Although the specific molecular processes controlled by polyamines remains to be fully defined, increasing evidence indicates that polyamines regulate intestinal epithelial integrity by modulating the expression of various growth-related genes. In this review, we will extrapolate the current state of scientific knowledge regarding the roles of polyamines in gut mucosal homeostasis and highlight progress in cellular and molecular mechanisms of polyamines and their potential clinical applications.