The effect of leptin on intestinal recovery following ischemia-reperfusion injury in a rat

Igor Sukhotnik, Habib Helou, Michael Lurie, Kamal Khateeb, Jacoob Bejar, Arnold G Coran, Jorge G Mogilner, Eitan Shiloni
Pediatric Surgery International 2007, 23 (5): 473-8
Recent evidence suggests that the adipose tissue derived cytokine leptin (LEP) is involved in the modulation of growth and differentiation of normal small intestine. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of leptin on enterocyte turnover and intestinal recovery after ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury in a rat. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three experimental groups: (1) sham rats underwent laparotomy, (2) IR-rats underwent occlusion of both superior mesenteric artery and portal vein for 30 min followed by 24 h of reperfusion, and (3) IR-LEP rats underwent IR and were treated with leptin given subcutaneously at a dose of 50 microg/kg once a day for 48 h before and 24 h following IR. Intestinal structural changes, enterocyte proliferation and enterocyte apoptosis were determined 24 h following IR. A non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA test was used for statistical analysis with P < 0.05 considered statistically significant. Treatment with leptin resulted in a significant increase in bowel weight in ileum, mucosal weight in jejunum and ileum, mucosal DNA content in ileum, mucosal protein content in jejunum and ileum, villus height in jejunum and ileum, and crypt depth in jejunum compared to IR-animals. IR-LEP rats also had a significantly lower intestinal injury score as well as lower apoptotic index and higher cell proliferation index in jejunum and ileum compared to the IR-animals. In conclusion, pre-treatment with leptin prevents gut mucosal damage and improves intestinal rehabilitation following intestinal IR in a rat.

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