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Am J Vet Res. 1994 Oct;55(10):1454-63.

Neutrophil accumulation in the large colon of horses during low-flow ischemia and reperfusion.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1089.


Histomorphologic/morphometric evaluation, leukocyte scintigraphy, and myeloperoxidase activity were used to determine whether neutrophils accumulate in the large colon of horses during low-flow ischemia and reperfusion. Twenty-four adult horses were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: group 1, sham-operated (n = 6); group 2, 6 hours of ischemia (n = 9); and group 3, 3 hours of ischemia and 3 hours of reperfusion (n = 9). Low-flow ischemia of the large colon was induced in horses of groups 2 and 3 by reducing colonic arterial blood flow to 20% of baseline. Radiolabeled (99mTc) autogenous neutrophils were injected at 175 minutes, which corresponded to 5 minutes prior to reperfusion in group-3 horses. Full-thickness biopsy specimens of the left ventral colon were collected at baseline and at 30-minute intervals for 6 hours; a portion of the biopsy specimen was placed in formalin for histologic examination, and the remainder was used to measure mucosal radioactivity and myeloperoxidase activity. There were no differences in baseline mucosal neutrophil index, mucosal neutrophil numbers, submucosal venular neutrophil numbers, mucosal radioactivity, or mucosal myeloperoxidase activity among groups, or over time in group-1 horses. Neutrophils accumulated in the colonic mucosa during ischemia and further increased at reperfusion, as indicated by neutrophil index (morphology) and mucosal neutrophil numbers (morphometry); mucosal neutrophil index was significantly (P < 0.05) greater in group-3 horses during reperfusion than at the corresponding periods of ischemia in group-2 horses. Neutrophil numbers were significantly (P < 0.05) increased in submucosal venules at 10 minutes of reperfusion in group-3 horses and were significantly (P < 0.05) greater in group-3 than in group-2 horses during the interval from 3 to 6 hours. Mucosal radioactivity significantly (P < 0.05) increased at reperfusion in group-3 horses; there was a trend (P = 0.076) toward greater mucosal radioactivity in group-3, compared with group-2 horses, throughout the 3- to 6-hour interval. There were no differences in mucosal myeloperoxidase activity among or within any of the 3 groups over time. Neutrophils accumulated in the large colon of horses during low-flow ischemia and reperfusion. Neutrophil infiltration was detected by histologic examination and leukocyte scintigraphy, but not by measurement of myeloperoxidase activity. The accumulation of neutrophils during ischemia and the further neutrophil infiltration during reperfusion indicate that neutrophils may contribute to reperfusion injury of the large colon.

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