Amelioration of ischemia-reperfusion injury in rat intestine by pentoxifylline-mediated inhibition of xanthine oxidase

Cathy Hammerman*, Doris Goldschmidt, Michael S. Caplan, Michael Kaplan, Michael S. Schimmel, Arthur I. Eidelman, David Branski, Ayala Hochman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background: Intestinal ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury results in cell destruction, which may be mediated by the generation of reactive oxygen species, potentially toxic metabolites of xanthine oxidase. Pentoxifylline (PTX) possesses a variety of biochemical and antioxidant properties that can improve capillary flow and tissue oxygenation. Because of these combined effects, it has been hypothesized that pentoxifylline would protect against intestinal IR. Methods: Young adult rats were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups: IR/Placebo (n = 12) in which superior and inferior mesenteric arteries were clamped for 45 minutes and then reopened; IR/PTX (n = 11) in which IR was induced as in the Placebo group, but with 25 mg/kg PTX at 0, 30, and 60 minutes; No IR/Placebo (n = 12); and No IR/PTX (n = 6) in which placebo and PTX were applied with no IR. Blood and intestinal samples were taken for serial thiobarbituric acid-reducing substances (TBARS; index of lipid peroxidation), for xanthine oxidase-xanthine dehydrogenase ratios, glutathione, myeloperoxidase, and histopathology. Results: Animals in the IR/PTX group had lower TBARS and the least severe histopathologic injury. Xanthine oxidase-xanthine dehydrogenase ratios were elevated only in IR/Placebo (0.67 ± 0.22 vs. 0.45 ± 0.14 in IR/PTX; 0.42 ± 0.22 in No IR/Placebo; and 0.40 ± 0.11 in No IR/PTX; p = 0.0009). Reduced glutathione was diminished in IR/PTX animals (38.9 ± 1.35 vs. 46.1 ± 7.0 in IR/Placebo; 41.1 ± 2.5 in No IR/Placebo; 43.6 ± 1.0 in No IR/PTX; p = 0.048). No differences were recorded in myeloperoxidase levels among groups. Conclusions: Pentoxifylline ameliorates histopathologic signs of injury and decreases lipid peroxidation (TBARS). Normal xanthine oxidase-xanthine dehydrogenase ratios in the treated compared with IR-only animals imply that the protective effect of PTX is at least partially mediated through inhibition of xanthine oxidase. (C) 1999 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Ischemia
  • Pentoxifylline
  • Reduced glutathione
  • Reperfusion
  • Thiobarbituric acid-reducing substances
  • Xanthine dehydrogenase
  • Xanthine oxidase


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