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Front Physiol. 2017 Dec 19;8:1064. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.01064. eCollection 2017.

Modulation of Intestinal Microbiome Prevents Intestinal Ischemic Injury.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States.
2
Hepatobiliary and Liver Transplant Unit, Università di Padova, Padova, Italy.
3
Department of Immunology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States.
4
Department of Pathology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States.

Abstract

Background: Butyrate protects against ischemic injury to the small intestine by reducing inflammation and maintaining the structure of the intestinal barrier, but is expensive, short-lived, and cannot be administered easily due to its odor. Lactate, both economical and more palatable, can be converted into butyrate by the intestinal microbiome. This study aimed to assess in a rat model whether lactate perfusion can also protect against intestinal ischemia. Materials and Methods: Rat intestinal segments were loaded in an in vitro bowel perfusion device, and water absorption or secretion was assessed based on fluorescence of FITC-inulin, a fluorescent marker bound to a biologically inert sugar. Change in FITC concentration was used as a measure of ischemic injury, given the tendency of ischemic cells to retain water. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections at light level microscopy were examined to evaluate intestinal epithelium morphology. Comparisons between the data sets were paired Student t-tests or ANOVA with p < 0.05 performed on GraphPad. Results: Lactate administration resulted in a protective effect against intestinal ischemia of similar magnitude to that observed with butyrate. Both exhibited approximately 1.5 times the secretion exhibited by control sections (p = 0.03). Perfusion with lactate and methoxyacetate, a specific inhibitor of lactate-butyrate conversion, abolished this effect (p = 0.09). Antibiotic treatment also eliminated this effect, rendering lactate-perfused sections similar to control sections (p = 0.72). Perfusion with butyrate and methoxyacetate did not eliminate the observed increased secretion, which indicates that ischemic protection was mediated by microbial conversion of lactate to butyrate (p = 0.71). Conclusions: Lactate's protective effect against intestinal ischemia due to microbial conversion to butyrate suggests possible applications in the transplant setting for reducing ischemic injury and ameliorating intestinal preservation during transport.

KEYWORDS:

intestinal ischemia; intestinal transplantation; ischemia/reperfusion injury

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