Published online Sep 15, 2003. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v9.i9.2036
Revised: May 23, 2003
Accepted: June 7, 2003
Published online: September 15, 2003
AIM: To investigate the expression of phosphorylating p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in rat small intestine after ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) insult and its relationship with the localization of intestinal stem cells.
METHODS: Forty-eight Wistar rats were divided randomly into three groups, namely intestinal ischemia-reperfusion group (R), intestinal ischemia group (I) and sham-operated control group (C). In group I, the animals were killed 45 minutes after superior mesenteric artery (SMA) occlusion, while in group R the rats sustained SMA occlusion for 45 minutes and reperfusion for 2, 6, 12 or 24 h respectively. In sham-operated control group, SMA was separated, but without occlusion. The activity of plasma diamine oxidase (DAO) was determined. Intestinal tissue samples were also taken for histological analysis and immunohistochemical analysis of MAPK p38 detection and intestinal stem cell localization.
RESULTS: The changes in histological structure and plasma DAO levels indicated that the intestinal barrier was damaged after intestinal I/R injury. In group C and I, each crypt contained 5-6 p38 MAPK positive cells, which were mainly located in the lower region of the crypts. This was consistent with the distribution of intestinal stem cells. The presence of positive cells in crypts increased with the time of reperfusion and reached its peak at 12 h after reperfusion (35.6%).
CONCLUSION: After intestinal I/R injury, the expression of phosphorylating-p38 MAPK in small intestine increased with the duration of reperfusion, and its distribution coincided with that of intestinal stem cells and their daughter cells, indicating that phosphorylating-p38 might be a possible marker of intestinal stem cells.