Protective effect of L-arginine in experimentally induced Necrotizing Enterocolitis in rats

Nada Sadaqah Asali, Magda M. Hagras, Omar Ibrahim Saadah, Raed Fahad Althagafi, Soad Shaker Ali


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the neonatal intensive care unit which recently the etiology of NEC remains unclear, prevention and treatment strategies are often inadequate. Accordingly, a lot of research was conducted to evaluate L-arginine as one of the effective medications to protect the premature infants, where. The objective of the current study was to test the hypothesis that administration of L-arginine would have a protective effect in experimentally induced necrotizing enterocolitis in rats. The study was conducted on 46 male albino rats which were divided into three main groups:  Control group, L-arginine group, and the experimental group which has been divided into two sub-groups; Group A: received Lipopolysaccharides to induce NEC, Group B: injected by L-arginine prior to the disease induced by endotoxin, asphyxia and cold stress. After the animals had been scarified, histological changes were evaluated, gene expression of both iNOS and IL-12 were measured, and apoptosis also was detected by flowcytometry technique. The findings observed a significant increase in the expression of iNOS gene and IL-12 gene and a noticeable decrease of the apoptosis index. In addition, administration of L-arginine attenuated body weight, body temperature, and the histological changes were altered by LPS/asphyxia. As such, the study was able to demonstrate that L-arginine administration significant protective effect against NEC, but further clinical studies are still required on preterm infant to confirm these results.

Key words: Necrotizing enterocolitis, L-arginine, Interleukin-12, Inducible nitric oxide synthase, Lipopolysaccharides, Messenger Ribonucleic acid (mRNA)

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