American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology

Regional susceptibility to stress-induced intestinal injury in the mouse.

PMID 23868412


Injury to the intestinal mucosa is a life-threatening problem in a variety of clinical disorders, including hemorrhagic shock, trauma, burn, pancreatitis, and heat stroke. The susceptibility to injury of different regions of intestine in these disorders is not well understood. We compared histological injury across the small intestine in two in vivo mouse models of injury, hemorrhagic shock (30% loss of blood volume) and heat stroke (peak core temperature 42.4°C). In both injury models, areas near the duodenum showed significantly greater mucosal injury and reductions in villus height. To determine if these effects were dependent on circulating factors, experiments were performed on isolated intestinal segments to test for permeability to 4-kDa FITC-dextran. The segments were exposed to hyperthermia (42°C for 90 min), moderate simulated ischemia (Po2 ∼30 Torr, Pco2 ∼60 Torr, pH 7.1), severe ischemia (Po2 ∼20 Torr, Pco2 ∼80 Torr, pH 6.9), or severe hypoxia (Po2 ∼0 Torr, Pco2 ∼35 Torr) for 90 min, and each group was compared with sham controls. All treatments resulted in marked elevations in permeability within segments near the duodenum. In severe hypoxia or hyperthermia, permeability was also moderately elevated in the jejunum and ileum; in moderate or severe ischemia, permeability was unaffected in these regions. The results demonstrate increased susceptibility of proximal regions of the small intestine to acute stress-induced damage, irrespective of circulating factors. The predominant injury in the duodenum may impact the pattern of acute inflammatory responses arising from breach of the intestinal barrier, and such knowledge may be useful for designing therapeutic strategies.