Effect of simvastatin on intestinal recovery following gut ischemia-reperfusion injury in a rat

Nadav Slijper, Igor Sukhotnik, Elena Chemodanov, Yulia Bashenko, Ron Shaoul, Arnold G Coran, Jorge Mogilner
Pediatric Surgery International 2010, 26 (1): 105-10

BACKGROUND: Pleiotropic (lipid lowering-independent) effects of statins are attributed to their antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and/or vascular actions. Extensive studies in various experimental models have established that pretreatment with simvastatin significantly protects heart and kidney injured by ischemia-reperfusion (IR). The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of simvastatin on intestinal recovery and enterocyte turnover after intestinal IR injury in rats.

METHODS: 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 48 h of reperfusion, and (3) IR-SIM rats underwent IR and were treated with oral simvastatin (10 mg/kg) given by gavage immediately before and 24 h after operation. Intestinal structural changes, Park's injury score, 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 less than 0.05 considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: Treatment with simvastatin resulted in a significant increase in bowel and mucosal weight in ileum, villus height and crypt depth in jejunum and ileum compared to IR animals. IR-SIM rats had also a significantly lower intestinal injury score as well as lower apoptotic index in jejunum and ileum compared to IR animals.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with simvastatin prevents gut mucosal damage and inhibits programmed cell death following intestinal IR in a rat.

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