Intestinal ischemic-reperfusion (IR) injury has detrimental effects on both local and distant organs in the body. Betanin is known for its antioxidant properties, and it is found mostly in vegetables. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that betanin administration prior intestinal IR, may be beneficial in protecting jejuna! mucosa and lung parenchyma against IR damage. Male specific pathogen-free Charles River Wistar rats were used (n = 42). Betanin (50 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally 30 min before ischemia of the superior mesenteric artery lasting 1 h, followed by 1, 4 and 24 h of reperfusion. Immunohistochemical as well as histomorphometrical analysis indicated a protective effect of betanin pretreatment on jejunal tissue. Regarding morphometrical analysis betanin significantly (p < 0.01) augments intestinal villus height after 24 of reperfusion comparing to early stages. Betanin application reduced number of mast cells population in early reperfusion periods (p < 0.05). The protective effect of betanin on lung parenchyma, was detected in late reperfusion period (24 h) with improvement of histopathological injury index and morphometric analysis (p < 0.001 for both). The improvement of histopathological injury index (p < 0.001) and morphometric analysis (p < 0.001) during the late reperfusion period, suggests a protective effect of betanin on lung parenchyma. Moreover, suppression of the inflammatory response was mirrored by the reduction of myeloperoxidase (MPO) positive cells within lung parenchyma after 1 and 4 h of reperfusion (p < 0.001). Especially, during the first 4 h of reperfusion after betanin administration, a reduction of 74% of the polymorphonuclear neutrophils infiltration (MPO positive cell population) and of a nearly 46% of active MCs was observed. Upon morphometric examination, the lung histological architecture after 24 h of reperfusion appeared to be almost 100% better following betanin treatment, with 25% thinner interalveolar septa and 20% larger alveolar surface for respiratory gas exchange. The results suggest that betanin pretreatment protects the jejunal mucosa and the lung parenchyma, as well as reduces the inflammatory cell density after intestinal IR injury.
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