Purpose: Adequate tissue oxygenation is essential for healing. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has potential clinical applications to treat ischemic pathologies, however the exact nature of any protective effects are unclear at present. We therefore investigated the potential role of HBOT in modulating the ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury response in intestinal model of I/R injury.
Methods: Male Wistar rats were subjected to surgery for the induction of intestinal ischemia followed by reperfusion. HBOT was provided before and/or after intestinal ischemia. Cell viability in the intestinal tissue was assessed using the MTT assay and by measuring serum malondealdehyde (MDA). Microvascular density and apoptosis were evaluated by immunohistochemistry.
Results: The results indicate that HBOT treatment pre- and post-ischemia reduces lesion size to the intestinal tissue. This treatment increases cell viability and reduces the activation of caspase-3, which is associated with increased number of tissue CD34 cells and enhanced VEGF expression.
Conclusion: The hyperbaric oxygen therapy can limit tissue damage due to ischemia/reperfusion injury, by inducing reparative signaling pathways.