Introduction The pathophysiology of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) includes massive production of endogenous cytokines with exaggerated activation of inflammatory pathways. Colchicine has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible beneficial effects of colchicine in a neonatal rat model of NEC.
Methods Rats were randomly divided into 3 groups: control group; saline-treated NECgroup; colchicine-treated NEC group. NEC was induced by hyperosmolar enteral formula feeding and exposure to hypoxia/reoxygenation after cold stress. Intestinal samples were harvested for biochemical and histopathological analysis.
Results The grade of intestinal injury of pups in the saline-treated NEC group was found to be significantly higher than in the control or the colchicine-treated groups (p<0.001, p=0.003; respectively). Median level of intestinal malondialdehyde was significantly higher in the saline-treated NEC group compared to the control group (p=0.006) and the colchicine-treated group (p=0.015). Significantly higher activities of intestinal superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities were observed in the colchicine-treated NEC group compared to the saline-treated group (p=0.033 and p=0.030; respectively). Tissue levels of tumor necrosis factor- α and interleukin 1β were significantly higher in the saline-treated NEC group compared to rats in the colchicine-treated group (p<0.001, p=0.003; respectively). A comparison of saline-treated and colchicine-treated NEC pups revealed that treatment with colchicine was associated with significantly lower tissue levels of TNF- α and IL-1β (p<0.01, both).
Conclusion We observed that; in this model of NEC, colchicine has favorable effects onintestinal histological and biochemical changes.