Published online Jun 15, 2003. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v9.i6.1312
Revised: March 24, 2003
Accepted: April 1, 2003
Published online: June 15, 2003
AIM: Previous studies showed that exogenous basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF or FGF-2) could improve physiological dysfunction after intestinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. However, the mechanisms of this protective effect of bFGF are still unclear. The present study was to detect the effect of bFGF on the activities of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway in rat intestine after I/R injury, and to investigate the protective mechanisms of bFGF on intestinal ischemia injury.
METHODS: Rat intestinal I/R injury was produced by clamping the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) for 45 min and followed by reperfusion for 48 h. Seventy-eight Wistar rats were used and divided randomly into sham-operated group (A), normal saline control group (B), bFGF antibody pre-treated group (C), and bFGF treated group (D). In group A, SMA was separated without occlusion. In groups B, C and D, SMA was separated and occluded for 45 min, then, released for reperfusion for 48 h. After the animals were sacrificed, blood and tissue samples were taken from the intestine 45 min after ischemia in group A and 2, 6, 24, and 48 h after reperfusion in the other groups. Phosphorylated forms of p42/p44 MAPK, p38 MAPK and stress activated protein kinase/C-Jun N-terminal kinase (SAPK/JNK) were measured by immunohistochemistry. Plasma levels of D-lactate were examined and histological changes were observed under the light microscope.
RESULTS: Intestinal I/R injury induced the expression of p42/p44 MAPK, p38 MAPK, and SAPK/JNK pathways and exogenous bFGF stimulated the early activation of p42/p44 MAPK and p38 MAPK pathways. The expression of phosphorylated forms of p42/p44 MAPK was primarily localized in the nuclei of crypt cells and in the cytoplasm and nuclei of villus cells. The positive expression of p38 MAPK was localized mainly in the nuclei of crypt cells, very few in villus cells. The activities of p42/p44 MAPK and p38 MAPK peaked 6 h after reperfusion in groups B and C, while SAPK/JNK peaked 24 h after reperfusion. The activities of p42/p44 MAPK and p38 MAPK peaked 2 h after reperfusion in group D and those of SAPK/JNK were not changed in group B. D-lactate levels and HE staining showed that the intestinal barrier was damaged severely 6 h after reperfusion; however, histological structures were much improved 48 h after reperfusion in group D than in the other groups.
CONCLUSION: The results indicate that intestinal I/R injury stimulates the activities of MAPK pathways, and that p42/p44 MAPK and p38MAPK activities are necessary for the protective effect of exogenous bFGF on intestinal I/R injury. The protective effect of bFGF on intestinal dysfunction may be mediated by the early activation of p42/p44 MAPK and p38 MAPK signaling pathways.