Oral arginine improves intestinal recovery following ischemia-reperfusion injury in rat

Igor Sukhotnik, Habib Helou, Jorge Mogilner, Michael Lurie, Aleksander Bernsteyn, Arnold G Coran, Eitan Shiloni
Pediatric Surgery International 2005, 21 (3): 191-6
Arginine and nitric oxide are critical to the normal physiology of the gastrointestinal tract and maintain the mucosal integrity of the intestine in various intestinal disorders. In the present study, we evaluate the effects of oral arginine (ARG) supplementation on intestinal structural changes, enterocyte proliferation, and apoptosis following intestinal ischemia-reperfusion (IR) in the rat. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three experimental groups: sham rats underwent laparotomy and superior mesenteric artery mobilization, IR rats underwent superior mesenteric artery occlusion for 30 min following by 24 h of reperfusion, and IR-ARG rats were treated with enteral arginine given in drinking water (2%) 48 h before and following IR. Intestinal structural changes, enterocyte proliferation, and enterocyte apoptosis were determined 24 h following IR. A nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA test was used for statistical analysis with p <0.05 considered statistically significant. IR rats demonstrated a significant decrease in bowel weight in duodenum and jejunum, mucosal weight in jejunum and ileum, and villus height in jejunum and ileum compared with control animals. IR rats also had a significantly lower cell proliferation index in jejunum and ileum and a higher apoptotic index in ileum compared with control rats. IR-ARG animals demonstrated greater duodenal and jejunal bowel weight; duodenal, jejunal, and ileal mucosal weight; and jejunal and ileal cell proliferation index compared with IR animals. In conclusion, oral ARG administration improves mucosal recovery following IR injury in the rat.

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