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Shock. 1998 Sep;10(3):203-12.

The influence of intestinal ischemia and reperfusion on bidirectional intestinal barrier permeability, cellular membrane integrity, proteinase inhibitors, and cell death in rats.

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Department of Surgery, Lund, University Hospital, Sweden.


Intestinal ischemia and reperfusion injury (I/R) is probably involved in the pathogenesis of intestinal barrier dysfunction, associated with the concomitant translocation of enteric bacteria and toxins and the potential development of multiple organ failure. The intestinal endothelial and epithelial layers play a major role preventing the entry of toxic substances from the gut, but the influence of protease-antiprotease systemic balance on these barrier functions and the relationship between epithelial DNA synthesis, apoptosis, and endothelial and epithelial barrier macromolecule permeability are not fully investigated. Endothelial and epithelial barrier macromolecular permeability, epithelial DNA synthesis, the endothelial and epithelial plasma membrane system, apoptosis and oncosis, plasma levels of proteinase inhibitors, and proenzymes were measured in rats subjected to 20 and 40 min intestinal ischemia and 1, 3, 6, or 12 h reperfusion. Endothelial permeability increased after both 20 and 40 min intestinal ischemia. Epithelial permeability significantly increased during 1-6 h reperfusion after 20 min ischemia and during 1-12 h reperfusion after 40 min ischemia. Epithelial DNA synthesis increased in animals with 20 min ischemia followed by 12 h reperfusion. Plasma levels of prekallikrein, C1-esterase inhibitor, and alpha1-macroglobulin were significantly lower following both 20 and 40 min ischemia from 3 h reperfusion and on. Apoptotic epithelial cells significantly increased in animals subjected to 20 min ischemia followed by 12 h reperfusion. The severity of reperfusion injury in the intestinal endothelial and epithelial barrier seems to correlate with the period of ischemia and the pathway of cell damage and death, together with proteinase-antiproteinase imbalance.

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