Background: Several studies indicate that a breakdown of mucosal barrier is often a major cause of endotoxemia and septic complications after hemorrhagic/traumatic insults. The aim of this study was to investigate, whether enteral administration of an immunoglobulin enriched colostral milk preparation (ICM) is able to affect endotoxemia as well as survival in a hemorrhagic shock model in rats. Materials and Methods: Rats were orally pre-treated with either 5 ml of 0.9% saline (CON) or ICM (3 g/kg body weight) once a day for 5 days (ICM). Laboratory control animals were not treated (LAB-CON). On day 6, intestinal endotoxin contents were assessed. In a separate set of animals treated similarly, hemorrhage was induced on the 6th day by bleeding the animals to a mean arterial pressure of 30-35 mm Hg for 3 h followed by resuscitation over 1 h. Results: Pre-treatment with ICM significantly reduced intraluminal endotoxin contents in the duodenum when compared with CON (0.43 ± 0.27 vs. 1.03 ± 0.67 EU/mg contents; p = 0.03). Hemorrhage for 3 h resulted in a significant rise in plasma endotoxin concentrations in CON animals compared with LAB-CON (0.30 ± 0.20 vs. 0.06 ± 0.04 EU/ml). ICM pre-treatment attenuated plasma endotoxin levels after hemorrhage (0.11 ± 0.12 EU/ml). The 6-day-survival rate after hemorrhage tended to be higher in the ICM pre-treated animals when compared with CON (66.7% vs. 40%). Conclusion: A passive immunization of the gut together with the reduction of the intraluminal endotoxin contents by enteral administration of immunoglobulin-enriched preparations might prove to be a prophylactic approach towards preventing gut-derived endotoxemia after hemorrhagic/traumatic insults.
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