Roles of nitric oxide and prostaglandins in pathogenesis of delayed colonic transit after burn injury in rats

Hua Tian Gan, Jiande D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Burn injury has been shown to impair gut transit, but the exact mechanism remains unknown. The present study investigated whether nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX) mediated changes in burn-induced colonic transit. After rats underwent 30% total body surface area burn injury, they were injected with S-methylisothiourea (SMT, selective inducible NOS inhibitor), 7-nitronidazole (7-NI, selective neuronal NOS inhibitor), and nimesulide (NIM, selective COX-2 inhibitor), respectively. The protein and mRNA of NOS and COX-2 were measured by Western blot analysis and real-time RT-RCR, and localization of NOS and COX-2 protein was determined by immunohistochemistry. Our results showed that colonie transit assessed by the geometric center was delayed from 3.47 ± 0.28 in controls to 2.21 ± 0.18 after burn (P < 0.009). SMT and NIM significantly improved colonic transit in burned rats but had no effect in sham-operated rats. 7-NI failed to modify delayed transit in burned rats but significantly delayed colonic transit in sham-operated rats. Both protein and mRNA of inducible NOS and COX-2 increased significantly but not neuronal NOS in burned rats. Inducible NOS protein expression was noted not only in epithelial cells but also in neurons of the myenteric ganglia in burned rats. These findings suggest that nitric oxide (NO) produced by neuronal NOS plays an important role in mediating colonic transit under the physiological condition. NO produced by inducible NOS and prostaglandins synthesized by COX-2 are both involved in the pathogenesis of delayed colonie transit after burn injury. Inducible NOS expression in neurons of the myenteric ganglia may contribute to dysmotility with burn injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1316-R1324
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 57-5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Colonic motility
  • Cyclooxygenase
  • Gastrointestinal motility
  • Nitric oxide synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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