Ascorbic acid prevents ischemia-reperfusion injury in the rat small intestine

Transpl Int. 1997;10(2):89-95. doi: 10.1007/s001470050018.


Ischemia-reperfusion injury by free radicals and lipid peroxides is observed in various organs. Ascorbic acid (AsA) or glutathione (GSH) in various doses (AsA:2, 0.5, 0.1 mmol/kg, GSH:2 mmol/kg) was intraperitoneally administered to male Wistar rats. The entire small intestines were resected just before ischemia, after ischemia, and after 20 min of reperfusion (n = 7-10 at each time point). At each time point, the specimens were subjected to assays of lipid peroxides, GSH, and glutaminase activity of the tissues; they were also examined histologically. In the AsA group, the production of lipid peroxides after reperfusion was significantly suppressed in a dose-dependent manner, and the ratio of oxidized GSH to total GSH was also significantly low. Tissue glutaminase activity decreased to a lesser extent, and the degree of injury was apparently less marked in the AsA group. This study indicates that AsA acts as an antioxidant against peroxidative tissue injury, possibly by scavenging radicals, preserving reduced GSH, and reducing the peroxidative reaction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Dehydroascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Free Radicals
  • Glutathione / analogs & derivatives
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione / pharmacology
  • Glutathione Disulfide
  • Intestinal Mucosa / blood supply*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Intestine, Small / blood supply*
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Ischemia / pathology
  • Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Arteries
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / analysis


  • Free Radicals
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Glutathione
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Glutathione Disulfide
  • Dehydroascorbic Acid