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 journalArticle

53 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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