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J Pediatr Surg. 2002 Mar;37(3):457-9.

Interleukin-11 enhances intestinal absorptive function after ischemia-reperfusion injury.

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Department of Surgery, A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE, and Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.



Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is a multifunctional cytokine that has been shown to improve small bowel adaptation and enhance cellular recovery after bowel ischemia. This study was designed to examine the effects of systemic IL-11 on small bowel absorptive function in a rat model of intestinal ischemia and reperfusion (IR) injury.


Sprague-Dawley rats underwent placement of a venous catheter connected to an osmotic pump, which delivered its contents over 3 days. Rats were divided into 3 groups: sham operation/systemic saline; 30-minute superior mesenteric artery occlusion/systemic saline; superior mesenteric artery occlusion/systemic IL-11, 750 microgram/kg/d. After the infusion, (14)C-galactose or (14)C-glycine absorption was measured using an in vivo, recirculation technique. Statistical significance was determined using analysis of variance.


In control rats, 30 minutes of IR decreased absorption of galactose from 2.62 to 2.02 micromoles/cm(2) (P <.01), and glycine from 2.79 to 1.72 micromoles/cm(2) (P <.01). Rats treated with systemic IL-11 showed improved absorption of galactose of 2.39 micromoles/cm(2) (P <.05), and glycine at 2.21 micromoles/cm(2) (P <.05). Mucosal DNA content was reduced significantly from 7.37 to 5.61 microgram DNA/mg by IR (P <.01). IL-11 treatment did not significantly alter DNA content during this period.


These data show that 30 minutes of intestinal IR significantly decreases intestinal absorptive function in this animal model. When compared with untreated control animals, administration of systemic IL-11 significantly increased the absorption of carbohydrate and amino acid in rats recovering from mesenteric IR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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