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Dig Dis Sci. 2004 Aug;49(7-8):1212-22.

Structural and neuronal changes in rat ileum after ischemia with reperfusion.

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Department of Physiological Sciences, Section of Neuroendocrine Cell Biology, Lund University, 22184 Lund, Sweden.


Intestinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) is of profound importance in many clinical situations. The present study investigates short- and long-term changes, in particular in enteric neurons, but also with respect to the presence of eosinophilic leukocytes, goblet cells, and mast cells in the intestinal wall using an experimental model for intestinal I/R. Structural changes were also examined. Specimens from untreated, sham-operated, and ischemia (60 min)/reperfusion (1 hr-10 weeks) rat ileum were studied using histochemistry and morphometry. After I/R a marked acidophilia was noted in both submucous and myenteric neurons. This preceded a loss of myenteric, but not submucous, neurons. A low number of acidophilic neurons was noted also in sham-operated segments. Eosinophils and mast cells gradually increased after I/R and were notably found in smooth muscle and myenteric ganglia. Structural changes included mucosal shedding followed by restitution with an epithelium transiently containing a high number of goblet cells and a marked thickening of the muscular layers.

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