Influences of Vagotomy on Gut Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Mice

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How vagotomy affects host responses to gut ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) is unclear.

Materials and Methods:

Experiment 1: male Institute of Cancer Research mice (n = 22) were assigned to the I/R or the vago-I/R group. The I/R mice underwent 45-min superior mesenteric artery (SMA) occlusion. The vago-I/R mice received vagotomy before SMA occlusion. Survival was observed for 48 h.

Materials and Methods:

Experiment 2: mice (n = 55) were divided into four groups (Sham, vago, I/R, vago-I/R). Sham and vago groups did not undergo gut I/R. Mice were killed at 3 or 6 h after reperfusion, and cytokine levels in the plasma, jejunum, and ileum were evaluated. In addition, gut histology at 6 h was examined.

Materials and Methods:

Experiment 3: mice (n = 24) were divided into four groups as in Experiment 2. The small intestine was harvested at 3 h after reperfusion and the tissue was cultured ex vivo for 3 h. Cytokine levels of the culture supernatant were then measured.


Experiment 1: survival was significantly worse with vago-I/R than I/R.


Experiment 2: along with severe gut injury, vago-I/R increased IL-6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in plasma, IFN-γ in the jejunum and MCP-1 in the ileum, as compared with I/R. Significant positive correlations were noted between plasma and intestinal levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, MCP-1, and TNF-α).


Experiment 3: MCP-1 in the jejunal culture medium was higher in the vago-I/R than in the I/R group.


Vagotomy worsens survival after gut I/R, together with increases in pro-inflammatory cytokines in both plasma and the gut in association with severe intestinal tissue damage.

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