Simultaneous liver and lung injury following gut ischemia is mediated by xanthine oxidase

J Trauma. 1992 Jun;32(6):723-7; discussion 727-8. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199206000-00008.


We have previously shown that gut ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) causes simultaneous liver and lung dysfunction and that neutrophils play a critical role in this process. The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether xanthine oxidase (XO) was likewise operational. Normal and XO-inactivated rats (given a tungsten-enriched, molybdenum-depleted diet for 3 weeks) underwent 45 minutes of occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery, and control rats were subjected to a sham laparotomy. After zero and six hours of reperfusion, blood was sampled and livers and lungs harvested. Iodine-125-labeled albumin leak was used as a marker for pulmonary and liver capillary permeability barrier function, and serum acetoacetate/3-hydroxybutyrate (AcAc/3-OHB) levels as an index of hepatic mitochondrial redox state. Gut ischemia/six hours of reperfusion (I/R) increased the 125I albumin lung/blood ratio and the 125I albumin liver/blood ratio; AcAc/3-OHB levels decreased significantly. Xanthine oxidase activation eliminated the observed lung and liver capillary leak as well as the hepatic metabolic derangement induced by gut I/R. In conclusion, the simultaneous lung and liver dysfunction produced by gut I/R is mediated by XO.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Ischemia / complications*
  • Liver / blood supply*
  • Lung / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Mesentery / blood supply*
  • Multiple Organ Failure / blood
  • Multiple Organ Failure / etiology
  • Multiple Organ Failure / physiopathology*
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reperfusion Injury / blood
  • Reperfusion Injury / etiology
  • Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / blood
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / etiology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Serum Albumin, Radio-Iodinated
  • Xanthine Oxidase / physiology*


  • Serum Albumin, Radio-Iodinated
  • Xanthine Oxidase