Does pharmaconutrition with L-arginine and/or α-tocopherol improve the gut barrier in bile duct ligated rats?

Tuncyurek P., Sari M., Firat O., Mutaf I., Gulter C., Tünger A., ...More

European Surgical Research, vol.38, no.1, pp.4-10, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000091479
  • Journal Name: European Surgical Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.4-10
  • Keywords: biliary duct obstruction, bacterial translocation, arginine, nitric oxide, alpha-tocopherol, enteral feeding
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background/Aim: Nitric oxide supplementation and antioxidant therapy modulate gut barrier function, but the relationships between enhanced nitric oxide production, antioxidant administration, and biliary obstruction remain unclear. We evaluated the role of nitric oxide and α-tocopherol supplementation in bile duct ligated rats. Methods: Fifty male Wistar albino rats underwent sham operation (group I; control animals) or bile duct ligation (groups II, III, IV, and V). The ligation groups received the following regimens: standard pellet diet (group II), pellet diet plus intramuscularly administerd α-tocopherol (group III), and L-arginine-enriched pellet diet without (group IV) or with (group V) α-tocopherol. Nitric oxide, malondialdehyde, and α-tocopherol concentrations were assessed at the end of 3 weeks. Liver and intestinal samples were scored histologically. Mesenteric lymph node and liver cultures were assessed for bacterial translocation. Results: The liver malondialdehyde concentration was highest in group III. The nitric oxide content in the liver was higher in groups III and V, as were the blood α-tocopherol levels. Bacterial translocation was evident following bile duct ligation, but did not differ among the treatment groups. Intestinal histology revealed that group III had the lowest villus height, that group V had the least villus count, and that group II had the highest mucous cell count. The fibrosis scores were higher in groups IV and V. Conclusions: An obvious effect of α-tocopherol (with or without L-arginine) on the gut barrier could not be demonstrated. Moreover, the L-arginine-enriched diet promoted fibrosis in the liver. Thus, while biliary duct obstruction triggers bacterial translocation, nitric oxide and/or α-tocopherol supplementation did not seem to improve the gut barrier in our model. Copyright © 2006 S. Karger AG.