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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2013 Apr;48(4):448-58. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2013.772228.

Effects of acute ethanol gavage on intestinal integrity after hemorrhage/resuscitation.

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Department of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany.



In hemorrhagic shock with subsequent resuscitation (H/R), increased pro-inflammatory changes contribute to tissue injury and mortality in rodent models. Ethanol (EtOH) is assumed to modulate the inflammatory response and the subsequent organ injury after H/R. Therefore, we determined the contribution of acute ethanol gavage on intestinal inflammation and injury as well as survival after H/R in rats.


Fourteen hours before H/R, female LEWIS rats were gavaged with single dose of EtOH or saline (5 g/kg, 30% EtOH, H/R_EtOH group or H/R_ctrl group). Then, rats were hemorrhaged to a mean arterial blood pressure of 30 ± 2 mmHg for 60 min and resuscitated. Control groups underwent surgical procedures and gavage without H/R (sham_ctrl group and sham_EtOH group). Tissue was harvested 2 h after resuscitation. Mortality was assessed 72 h after H/R.


Ethanol gavage increased survival after H/R from 20% to 80%, but amplified plasma alanineaminotransferase (ALT) release compared to saline gavage (2847 ± 406 vs. 1159 ± 200 IU/L, p < 0.05). Intestinal mucosal damage index, intestinal permeability, ileal myeloperoxidase levels as indicators of polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMNL) infiltration and systemic IL-6 levels as well as ileal IL-6 and TNF gene expressions after H/R were reduced and partly restored after ethanol gavage when compared to the saline gavaged group after H/R.


Taken together, we propose that acute ethanol gavage prior to H/R 1) did not enhance intestinal mucosa injury after H/R and 2) suppressed the H/R-induced inflammatory response. Both findings seem to contribute to the ethanol-induced survival benefit after H/R in our model.

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