Systemic administration of epidermal growth factor (EGF) decreases mortality in a murine model of septic peritonitis. Although EGF can have direct healing effects on the intestinal mucosa, it is unknown whether the benefits of systemic EGF in peritonitis are mediated through the intestine. Here, we demonstrate that enterocyte-specific overexpression of EGF is sufficient to prevent intestinal barrier dysfunction and improve survival in peritonitis. Transgenic FVB/N mice that overexpress EGF exclusively in enterocytes (IFABP-EGF) and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to either sham laparotomy or cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Intestinal permeability, expression of the tight junction proteins claudins-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -7, and -8, occludin, and zonula occludens-1; villus length; intestinal epithelial proliferation; and epithelial apoptosis were evaluated. A separate cohort of mice was followed for survival. Peritonitis induced a threefold increase in intestinal permeability in WT mice. This was associated with increased claudin-2 expression and a change in subcellular localization. Permeability decreased to basal levels in IFABP-EGF septic mice, and claudin-2 expression and localization were similar to those of sham animals. Claudin-4 expression was decreased following CLP but was not different between WT septic mice and IFABP-EGF septic mice. Peritonitis-induced decreases in villus length and proliferation and increases in apoptosis seen in WT septic mice did not occur in IFABP-EGF septic mice. IFABP-EGF mice had improved 7-day mortality compared with WT septic mice (6% vs. 64%). Since enterocyte-specific overexpression of EGF is sufficient to prevent peritonitis-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction and confers a survival advantage, the protective effects of systemic EGF in septic peritonitis appear to be mediated in an intestine-specific fashion.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology|
|State||Published - Sep 2009|
- Claudin 2