Effects of Mesalamine Treatment on Gut Barrier Integrity after Burn Injury

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Journal of Burn Care and Research


Gut barrier disruption is often implicated in pathogenesis associated with burn and other traumatic injuries. In this study, the authors examined whether therapeutic intervention with mesalamine (5-aminosalicylic acid [5-ASA]), a common anti-inflammatory treatment for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, reduces intestinal inflammation and maintains normal barrier integrity after burn injury. Male C57BL/6 mice were administered an approximately 20% TBSA dorsal scald burn and resuscitated with either 1 ml normal saline or 100 mg/kg of 5-ASA dissolved in saline. The authors examined intestinal transit and permeability along with the levels of small intestine epithelial cell proinflammatory cytokines and tight junction protein expression 1 day after burn injury in the presence or absence of 5-ASA. A significant decrease in intestinal transit was observed 1 day after burn injury, which accompanied a significant increase in gut permeability. The authors found a substantial increase in the levels of interleukin (IL)-6 (by ∼1.5-fold) and IL-18 (by ∼2.5-fold) in the small intestine epithelial cells 1 day after injury. Furthermore, burn injury decreases the expression of the tight junction proteins claudin-4, claudin-8, and occludin. Treatment with 5-ASA after burn injury prevented the burn-induced increase in permeability, partially restored normal intestinal transit, normalized the levels of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-18, and restored tight junction protein expression of claudin-4 and occludin compared with that of sham levels. Together these findings suggest that 5-ASA can potentially be used as treatment to decrease intestinal inflammation and normalize intestinal function after burn injury.

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