Interleukin-22 modulates gut epithelial and immune barrier functions following acute alcohol exposure and burn injury

Document Type


Publication Title



Interleukin-22 (IL-22) maintains gut epithelial integrity and expression of antimicrobial peptides Reg3β and Reg3γ. Our laboratory has shown that acute alcohol/ethanol (EtOH) exposure before burn injury results in increased gut permeability, intestinal T-cell suppression, and enhanced bacterial translocation. Herein, we determined the effect of combined EtOH intoxication and burn injury on intestinal levels of IL-22 as well as Reg3β and Reg3γ expression. We further examined whether in vivo restitution of IL-22 restores gut permeability, Reg3β and Reg3γ levels, and bacterial load (e.g., gut bacterial growth) within the intestine after EtOH and burn injury. Male mice, ∼25g, were gavaged with EtOH (2.9 mg/kg) before receiving a ∼12.5% total-body-surface-area, full-thickness burn. Mice were immediately treated with saline control or IL-22 (1 mg/kg) by i.p. injection. One day after injury, there was a significant decrease in intestinal IL-22, Reg3β, and Reg3γ expression along with an increase in intestinal permeability and gut bacterial load after EtOH combined with burn injury, as compared with sham injury. Treatment with IL-22 normalized Reg3β and Reg3γ expression and attenuated the increase in intestinal permeability after EtOH and burn injury. Qualitatively, IL-22 treatment reduced the bacterial load in nearly half of mice receiving EtOH combined with burn injury. Our data indicate that IL-22 maintains gut epithelial and immune barrier integrity after EtOH and burn injury; thus, the IL-22/antimicrobial peptide pathway may provide a therapeutic target for the treatment of patients who sustain burn injury under the influence of EtOH. Copyright © 2012 by the Shock Society.

First Page


Last Page




Publication Date


This document is currently not available here.