A New Model for Short Bowel Syndrome

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — An article published in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Volume 245, Issue 12, June 2020) (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1535370220915881)…

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — An article published in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Volume 245, Issue 12, June 2020) (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1535370220915881) describes a new animal model for short bowel syndrome. The study, led by Dr. Ajay Jain in the Department of Pediatrics at the St. Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, (USA), reports that a validated piglet model recapitulates the anatomical, histological and serological characteristics observed in humans with short bowel syndrome.

In cases where the intestines are sick or damaged, surgical removal of a large portion of bowel may be necessary. However, this may result in a condition known as short bowel syndrome (SBS). Individuals with SBS are unable to tolerate food or absorb essential nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract, and require delivery of fluid and nutritional needs intravenously, a process called total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Although TPN has proven to be lifesaving in SBS, it does have significant side effects including injury to the liver and the remaining intestine. Unfortunately, the reason for this injury is not fully known. Novel ambulatory animal models that recapitulate human SBS are needed to fully understand the disease process and side effects of TPN delivery, as well as develop new therapies that will improve patient outcomes.   

In the current study, Dr. Jain and colleagues used surgical techniques to mimic the distal small bowel and ileocecal valve resection that is an important anatomical factor in human SBS. This SBS animal model is novel in that the piglets are fitted with jackets and miniaturized pumps, which allows them to ambulate freely unlike tethered models. Piglets with SBS and TPN delivery demonstrated liver and gut injuries that were similar to those seen in SBS patients. Dr. Christine Denton, a co-author on the study, said that “It is imperative to create animal models that resemble human disease as closely as possible. We believe that we have developed and validated a piglet model which mirrors human short bowel syndrome in all aspects and will play a significant role in developing treatments for total parenteral nutrition-associated injuries.” Dr. Jain added that “this model which so beautifully recapitulates human SBS will help translate therapies for one of our most precious population segments – the premature and newborn babies, who suffer the most from short bowel syndrome.” 

Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology & Medicine, said, “Jain and colleagues have provided an excellent piglet model of ambulatory Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS). This animal model will allow the testing of therapeutics that can efficaciously impact the pathophysiology related to SBS.”

Experimental Biology and Medicine is a global journal dedicated to the publication of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences. The journal was first established in 1903. Experimental Biology and Medicine is the journal of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine. To learn about the benefits of society membership, visit www.sebm.org. For anyone interested in publishing in the journal, please visit http://ebm.sagepub.com.

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