Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome continues to be a major source of morbidity and mortality in critically-ill patients. Heparin binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) is a biologically active protein that acts as an intestinal cytoprotective agent. We have previously demonstrated that HB-EGF protects the intestines from injury in several different animal models of intestinal injury. In the current study, we investigated the ability of HB-EGF to protect the lungs from remote organ injury after intestinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Methods: Mice were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: (1) sham-operated; (2) sham+HB-EGF (1200 μg/kg in 0.6 mL administered by intra-luminal injection at the jejuno-ileal junction immediately after identification of the superior mesenteric artery); (3) superior mesenteric artery occlusion for 45 min followed by reperfusion for 6 h (I/R); or (4) I/R+HB-EGF (1200 μg/kg in 0.6 mL) administered 15 min after vascular occlusion. The severity of acute lung injury was determined by histology, morphometric analysis and invasive pulmonary function testing. Animal survival was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: Mice subjected to intestinal I/R injury showed histologic and functional evidence of acute lung injury and decreased survival compared with sham-operated animals. Compared with mice treated with HB-EGF (I/R+HB-EGF), the I/R group had more severe acute lung injury, and decreased survival. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that HB-EGF reduces the severity of acute lung injury after intestinal I/R in mice. These data demonstrate that HB-EGF may be a potential novel systemic anti-inflammatory agent for the prevention of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) after intestinal injury.
- acute lung injury
- heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor
- multiple organ dysfunction syndrome
- systemic inflammatory response
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