Dig Dis Sci 2003 May;48(5):882-9
Department of General and Transplantation Surgery, University of Essen, Essen, Germany.
Oxygen radicals are formed by the endothelium and blood cells and have specific functions in various organs systems. On the level of the microcirculation, oxygen radicals take part in the regulation of the leukocyte-endothelial interaction. The involvement of oxygen radicals has previously been found in conditions such as sepsis, ischemia-reperfusion, and inflammation. Indomethacin is a clinically applied nonsteroidal antiphlogistic, and in previous studies in the rat, it has been found to induce an inflammatory reaction in the small intestine characterized by edema and reddening of the intestinal epithelium, ulceration, and dysregulation in the intestinal-epithelial barrier function. In the present study, we investigated the effect of N-acetylcysteine on erythrocyte velocity and the arteriolar diameter of the main arteriole in single villi, thus providing insight in the perfusion of the mucosa in indomethacin-induced intestinal inflammation. N-Acetylcysteine is known to inactivate superoxide and its precursors. Therefore, we used N-acetylcysteine to investigate whether superoxide and its precursors participate in the regulation of blood supply to single villi in this animal model. We found that indomethacin induced an increase in villous perfusion that was significantly reduced by N-acetylcysteine, indicating that superoxide and its precursors may participate in the regulation of blood supply to the mucosa in this animal model of intestinal inflammation.