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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neutrophil depletion in rats reduces burn-injury induced intestinal bacterial translocation.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether neutrophil depletion could eradicate intestinal bacterial translocation in bum-injured rats. DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, controlled study. SETTING: University research laboratory. SUBJECTS: Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. INTERVENTIONS: The rats were intravenously administered a rabbit anti-rat neutrophil antibody causing profound neutropenia and subjected to a 30% total body surface area scald burn. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The depletion of neutrophils from the intestine was assessed via measurements of myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in the intestinal homogenates. In addition, the presence of activated/extravasated neutrophils in intact intestines was determined via immunohistochemical localization of neutrophil nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase component protein p47phox. Bacterial translocation was measured using agar cultures and by determining Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase gene via polymerase chain reaction/Southern blot analyses of mesenteric lymph node and spleen, liver, lung, and blood. MPO measurements demonstrated a six-fold increase above the control value in the intestinal tissue in rats on day 1 postburn. The presence of activated neutrophils (expression of p47phox protein) was also markedly increased in the intestines of these rats. The increased MPO activity and p47phox expression accompanied a translocation of indigenous E. coli into the mesenteric lymph node without a spread to other organs. The administration of anti-neutrophil antibody to burn animals prevented an increase in MPO activity and bacterial translocation. CONCLUSION: These studies indicate that enhanced intestinal bacterial translocation caused by burn injury could be related to the increased infiltration of activated neutrophils into the intestinal tissue after bum. The release of neutrophil products such as superoxide anion may effect intestinal tissue damage leading to bacterial translocation of indigenous E. coli.[1]


  1. Neutrophil depletion in rats reduces burn-injury induced intestinal bacterial translocation. Fazal, N., Shamim, M., Khan, S.S., Gamelli, R.L., Sayeed, M.M. Crit. Care Med. (2000) [Pubmed]
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