Epidermal growth factor reduces ischemia-reperfusion injury in rat small intestine

Xavier Villa, John W. Kuluz, Charles L. Schleien, John F. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To measure the effect of pre-ischemic administration of intraluminal epidermal growth factor on the changes in intestinal permeability induced by 30 mins of superior mesenteric artery occlusion, followed by 2 hrs of reperfusion. Design: Prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled experimental study. Setting: University basic science research laboratory. Subjects: Healthy, young, adult, male Sprague-Dawley rats. Interventions: A 10-cm segment of small intestine was isolated and studied in situ in rats that were anesthetized with fentanyl and mechanically ventilated. Intestinal ischemia-reperfusion injury was induced by temporary occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery for 30 mins, followed by 2 hrs of reperfusion. Three groups were studied: time controls with a sham operation, saline-treated ischemia-reperfusion, and epidermal growth factor-treated ischemia-reperfusion. Epidermal growth factor, 100 ng/min, was infused intraluminally, beginning 30 mins before and continued until 40 mins after ischemia. Measurements and Main Results: Intestinal permeability was measured for each 10-min time period by using chromium-labeled EDTA. Histopathologic injury was assessed by light microscopy. After superior mesenteric artery occlusion, intestinal permeability increased approximately ten-fold and was sustained for 2 hrs of reperfusion in saline-treated rats. Pretreatment with epidermal growth factor significantly reduced the permeability changes during reperfusion by >60% compared with saline-treated animals (p < .05). Histopathologic sections revealed apparently more extensive loss of epithelial cells and mucosal disruption in saline-treated intestine compared with epidermal growth factor-treated intestine. Conclusion: Pre-ischemic administration of intraluminal epidermal growth factor significantly protects against intestinal ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1576-1580
Number of pages5
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Enteropathy
  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Epithelium
  • Gut
  • Intestinal mucosa
  • Jejunum
  • Mucus
  • Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome
  • Permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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