Surgery Today

, Volume 38, Issue 10, pp 931–937 | Cite as

Oxymatrine attenuates intestinal ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats

  • Jinpeng Zhao
  • Shoujiang Yu
  • Liquan Tong
  • Feng Zhang
  • Xian Jiang
  • Shangha Pan
  • Hongchi Jiang
  • Xueying Sun
Original Article



Intestinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) is a common and serious clinical condition. The anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties of oxymatrine, the extract from a traditional Chinese herb, Sophora flavescens Ait, have been shown to protect the liver from I/R injury and attenuate colitis. The objective of this study was to investigate if oxymatrine could attenuate intestinal I/R injury induced in rats.


The experimental design consisted of three groups of 24 Wistar rats each: a sham-operation group (control group), a group subjected to intestinal I/R and then given saline (saline group), and a group subjected to intestinal I/R and then given oxymatrine (oxymatrine group). Intestinal I/R was induced by occluding the superior mesenteric artery for 45 min. Six rats from each group were killed at selected time points, and blood and intestinal samples were collected.


Morphological alteration, reduction of γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GGT) activity, and increased cell apoptosis confirmed intestinal I/R injury. The oxymatrine group had a significantly lower histological score and apoptosis index than the saline group, demonstrating that the preadministration of oxymatrine attenuated gut damage. Moreover, oxymatrine inhibited the production of lipid peroxides (LPO), decreased the serum levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and downregulated expression of phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, Fas, and FasL, which had been elevated by I/R.


These results provide further evidence of the anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic activities of oxymatrine, which may become a potent drug for protecting the intestines against I/R injury.

Key words

Oxymatrine Intestinal ischemia/reperfusion Apoptosis Tumor necrosis factor-α Fas/Fas ligand p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinpeng Zhao
    • 1
  • Shoujiang Yu
    • 1
  • Liquan Tong
    • 2
  • Feng Zhang
    • 2
  • Xian Jiang
    • 3
  • Shangha Pan
    • 3
  • Hongchi Jiang
    • 3
  • Xueying Sun
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryThe Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.Department of General SurgeryThe Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityDaqingChina
  3. 3.The Hepatosplenic Surgery Center, Department of General SurgeryThe First Clinical Medical School of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina

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