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J Perinat Med. 2007;35(5):443-6.

Intestinal trefoil factor in treatment of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis in the rat model.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, 430060 Wuhan, PR China.



Neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common gastrointestinal disease of premature infants. The role of cytokines and growth factors in the pathophysiology of NEC is not yet clearly defined. Among these factors, the intestinal trefoil factor (ITF) is known as cytoprotective to the gut. We studied the cytoprotective effect of trefoil factor in the 1-day-old Wistar rat pup model following hypoxic-ischemic cold stress.


In the present study, thirty 1-day-old Wistar rat pups were randomly divided into three groups: Group 1, normal controls: Group 2, NEC; Group 3, NEC+ITF. Experimental NEC was induced by exposure to hypoxia for 60 s followed by cold stress at 4 degrees C for 10 min. The animals were euthanized at development of NEC, and at 96 h the intestinal tissue was processed and examined for histological changes of NEC.


The pathological lesions indicated severe separation of the submucosa and lamina propria and tissue necrosis in Group 2, and slight submucosal and lamina propria separation in Group 3. There were no histopathological changes in the controls. The mean of histological grade of group 2 was 2.8 (range 2-4), and 1.2 (range 0-2) in group 3. A difference was found when the two groups were compared (P<0.05).


ITF may provide a new way for the therapy of NEC in rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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