Background: The aim of the current study was to determine whether overexpression of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) could protect the intestines from injury after hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation in mice. Methods: Hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation was induced in HB-EGF transgenic and wild type mice. Cross-reacting material 197 (5 mg/kg) was administered to a subset of HB-EGF transgenic mice to block the overexpressed HB-EGF. Intestinal histologic injury scores, intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis indices, and gut barrier function were determined. The Student t test and 1-way analysis of variance were employed to compare the differences between groups. Results: All mice subjected to hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation had significantly increased intestinal histologic injury scores, apoptosis indices, and intestinal permeability compared with sham-operated mice. Compared with wild type mice, HB-EGF transgenic mice had significantly decreased histologic injury (mean injury grade 2.79 ± 0.84 vs 3.88 ± 1.43, P = .02), apoptosis indices (mean apoptosis index 8.77 ± 5.23 vs 17.91 ± 13.23, P = .03), and mucosal permeability (FITC-dextran 4 clearance 13.06 ± 5.67 vs 20.03 ± 7.81 nL/min/ m2, P = .02) at 3 hours of reperfusion. HB-EGF transgenic mice subjected to hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation and treated with cross-reacting material 197 had a significantly increased histologic injury (mean injury grade 3.63 ± 1.00 vs 2.79 ± 0.84, P = .04) and mucosal permeability (FITC-dextran 4 clearance 22.87 ± 9.69 vs 13.06 ± 5.67 nL/min/cm2, P = .01) at 3 hours of reperfusion compared with non-cross-reacting material 197 treated transgenic mice, with no significant changes in apoptosis indices. Cross-reacting material 197 did not reverse the decreased apoptosis observed in HB-EGF transgenic mice subjected to hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation, which suggests that mechanisms in addition to decreased apoptosis may be responsible for the intestinal cytoprotective effects of endogenous HB-EGF overexpression. Conclusion: Overexpression of HB-EGF increases resistance to hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation in mice.
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