Thermal injury effects on intestinal crypt cell proliferation and death are cell position dependent

Maryam Varedi, Rebecca Chinery, George H. Greeley, David N. Herndon, Ella W. Englander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We examined the effects of thermal injury on intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and death. We recorded histologically identifiable mitotic and apoptotic crypt cells in relation to cell position after a 60% full thickness cutaneous thermal injury in the rat. The injury significantly reduced mitosis (0.53 ± 0.11 vs. 1.50 ± 0.70, P < 0.05) at cellpositions 4-6, stem cells, 6 h after injury. A similar reduction in mitosis (1.13 ± 0.59 vs. 3.50 ± 0.80, P < 0.05) was observed at higher cell positions 7-9 12 h after injury, indicating a positional cell shift. In addition, a significant increase in the number of apoptotic bodies occurred at cell positions 7-9 (2.32 ± 0.87 vs. 0.13 ± 0.22, P < 0.05) and 10-12 (2.2 ± 0.12 vs. 0.00, P < 0.05) 6 h after injury. Thermal injury-induced alterations in mitotic and apoptotic activities were transient since crypts recovered with a moderate increase in mitotic activity 24 h after injury. In control and thermal-injury rats 24 h after injury, crypt cell mitosis and apoptosis did not differ significantly. This demonstrates that cutaneous thermal injury causes a transient suppression of mitosis as well as induction of apoptosis in a cell position-dependent manner in the small intestinal crypt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G157-G163
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1 43-1
StatePublished - Jan 2001


  • Apoptosis
  • Burn
  • Mitosis
  • Proliferation potential
  • Small intestine
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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