Trophic effects of interleukin-11 in rats with experimental short bowel syndrome

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Journal of Pediatric Surgery








cytokines; interleukin-11; intestinal adaptation; Short bowel syndrome; villus hyperplasia


Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is s multifunctional cytokine, derived from bone marrow stromal cells, that stimulates proliferation of stem/progenitor precursor cells in the small intestinal crypts and accelerates recovery of intestinal mucosa after cytoablative therapy. This study evaluates whether IL-11 can improve the function and structure of the small intestine and enhance adaptation in an experimental model of short bowel syndrome. After 90% small bowel resection, 32 Sprague-Dawley rats were divided randomly into eight experimental groups of four animals each. Four groups were treated with IL-11 (125 μg/kg twice daily, subcutaneously), and the four control groups were treated with a similar volume (0.1%) of bovine serum albumin (BSA). The animals were weighed daily and were killed on day 2, 4, 6, or 8; remnant small bowel was evaluated for villus height and crypt cell mitosis. The body weight of the animals that received IL-11 was significantly greater at the beginning of postoperative day 4 in comparison to that of the BSA groups (P < .01 during days 5 to 7). The rats that had IL-11 also had significantly greater villus height and crypt cell mitotic rates (P < .05). These observations suggest that IL-11 has a trophic effect on the small bowel during the adaptive phase that follows massive bowel resection and may be useful in the treatment of short bowel syndrome.

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