Effect of bombesin on gut mucosal impairment after severe burn

Xiao Wu Wu, Marcus Spies, Vicky L. Chappell, David N. Herndon, James C. Thompson, Steven E. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Severe cutaneous burn alters gut epithelial homeostasis. In previous studies, treatment with bombesin decreased mucosal atrophy and improved maintenance of gut mucosal integrity after severe burn. Our current hypothesis is that bombesin reduces burn-induced gut impairment by decreasing gut epithelial cell death. Fifty-four adult male Fisher-344 rats were randomly assigned to three groups: control, sham burn (I), burn (II), and burn + bombesin (III). Animals in groups Il and III received a 60% total body surface area full thickness scald burn, and the treatment group (III) received bombesin subcutaneously (10 μg/kg, every 8 h) beginning immediately before the experiment. The proximal small bowel was harvested at 12 and 72 h after burn with measurement of wet and dry weight, mucosal weight, and protein content, and a 1-cm length of proximal end was excised and fixed in formalin for histological and immunohistochemical observation. Data are expressed as means ± SEM. Statistical analysis was by done by analysis of variance (significance at P < 0.05). Bombesin treatment attenuated mucosal atrophy demonstrated by restoration of the mucosal weight, mucosal protein content, and maintenance of mucosal height and total mucosal epithelial cell count. Gut epithelial cell apoptosis was, at least in part, inhibited by bombesin compared with a significant increase of gut cell apoptosis at 12 h after burn. Gut epithelial proliferation was not affected. Bombesin diminished burn-induced gut mucosal atrophy and gut epithelial cell apoptosis, suggesting that bombesin treatment may play an important role in the recovery of gut impairment after severe burn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-522
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2002


  • Apoptosis
  • Bombesin
  • Burn
  • Cell proliferation
  • Gut epithelial homeostasis
  • Mucosal atrophy
  • PCNA
  • Small bowel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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