Alteration in intestine tight junction protein phosphorylation and apoptosis is associated with increase in IL-18 levels following alcohol intoxication and burn injury

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Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease


Intestinal mucosal barrier is the first line of defense against bacteria and their products originating from the intestinal lumen. We have shown a role for IL-18 in impaired gut barrier function following acute alcohol (EtOH) intoxication combined with burn injury. To further delineate the mechanism, this study examined whether IL-18 alters intestine tight junction proteins or induces mucosal apoptosis under these conditions. To accomplish this, rats were gavaged with EtOH (3.2. g/kg) prior to ~. 12.5% total body surface area burn or sham injury. One day after injury, EtOH combined with burn injury resulted in a significant decrease in total occludin protein and its phosphorylation in small intestine compared to either EtOH or burn injury alone. There was no change in claudin-1 protein content but its phosphorylation on tyrosine was decreased following EtOH and burn injury. This was accompanied with an increase in mucosal apoptosis (p < 0.05). The treatment of rats with anti-IL-18 antibody at the time of burn injury prevented intestine apoptosis and normalized tight junction proteins following EtOH and burn injury. Altogether, these findings suggest that IL-18 modulates tight junction proteins and cause apoptosis leading to impaired intestinal mucosal integrity following EtOH intoxication combined with burn injury. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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