Role of TNF-α in gut mucosal changes after severe burn

Marcus Spies, Vicky L. Chappell, Mohan R. Dasu, David N. Herndon, James C. Thompson, Steven E. Wolf, Texas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Gut epithelial cell death by apoptosis is increased in the gut epithelium after severe burn associated with mucosal atrophy. We hypothesized that tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-TNF receptor (TNFR) interaction activates apoptosis in small bowel mucosal cells after severe burn. C57BL6 mice received a 30% total body surface area scald burn and were treated with neutralizing anti-TNF-α. The proximal small bowel was assessed for mucosal atrophy. Proliferation and apoptosis of mucosal cells were assessed by proliferative cell nuclear antigen-immunostaining and terminal deoxyuridine nick-end labeling assay, respectively. Mucosal height and mucosal cell number decreased after burn. Anti-TNF-a-treated mice showed significantly less mucosal atrophy. Proliferation of intestinal cells was not changed with burn or anti-TNF-α treatment. An over threefold increase in apoptotic cell number was seen after burn, which was diminished by anti-TNF-α treatment. Changes in gut mucosal homeostasis after severe burn are affected, in part, by the activation of apoptosis by TNF-α-TNFR interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G703-G708
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number3 46-3
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Apoptosis
  • Mucosal atrophy
  • Proliferation
  • Small bowel mucosa
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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