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World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Aug 28;18(32):4278-87. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i32.4278.

Use of butyrate or glutamine in enema solution reduces inflammation and fibrosis in experimental diversion colitis.

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Department of Surgery, Experimental Surgery Center, Surgical Sciences Postgraduate Program, Medical School, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21941-913, Brazil.



To investigate whether butyrate or glutamine enemas could diminish inflammation in experimental diversion colitis.


Wistar specific pathogen-free rats were submitted to a Hartmann's end colostomy and treated with enemas containing glutamine, butyrate, or saline. Enemas were administered twice a week in the excluded segment of the colon from 4 to 12 wk after the surgical procedure. Follow-up colonoscopy was performed every 4 wk for 12 wk. The effect of treatment was evaluated using video-endoscopic and histologic scores and measuring interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and transforming growth factor beta production in organ cultures by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay.


Colonoscopies of the diverted segment showed mucosa with hyperemia, increased number of vessels, bleeding and mucus discharge. Treatment with either glutamine or butyrate induced significant reductions in both colonoscopic (P < 0.02) and histological scores (P < 0.01) and restored the densities of collagen fibers in tissue (P = 0.015; P = 0.001), the number of goblet cells (P = 0.021; P = 0.029), and the rate of apoptosis within the epithelium (P = 0.043; P = 0.011) to normal values. The high levels of cytokines in colon explants from rats with diversion colitis significantly decreased to normal values after treatment with butyrate or glutamine.


The improvement of experimental diversion colitis following glutamine or butyrate enemas highlights the importance of specific luminal nutrients in the homeostasis of the colonic mucosa and supports their utilization for the treatment of human diversion colitis.


Butyrate; Cytokines; Diversion colitis; Glutamine; Short-chain fatty acids

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