2007 Volume 103 Issue 1 Pages 40-47
We examined the effect of tacrolimus (FK506), an immunosuppressive drug, on indomethacin-induced small intestinal ulceration in rats. Animals were given indomethacin (10 mg/kg, s.c.), killed 24 h later, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and thiobarbituric acid reactants (TBARS) were evaluated in intestinal lesions. Tacrolimus (0.3 – 3 mg/kg) was administered p.o. twice 0.5 h before and 6 h after indomethacin injection. The expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA was determined by a TaqMan real-time RT-PCR, while the activity of nuclear factor (NF)-κB DNA-binding was analyzed by electrophoresis mobility shift assays (EMSA) 6 h after indomethacin treatment. Indomethacin provoked severe hemorrhagic lesions in the small intestine, mainly in the jejunum and ileum, accompanied with increases in MPO activity and TBARS. Oral administration of tacrolimus reduced the severity of indomethacin-induced intestinal lesions in a dose-dependent manner. The increases in MPO activity and TBARS were also significantly attenuated by tacrolimus. The expression of iNOS mRNA was markedly enhanced when examined 6 h after indomethacin administration, and this response was counteracted by tacrolimus. Indomethacin also activated NF-κB in a tacrolimus-preventable manner. These results suggest that tacrolimus prevents indomethacin-induced small intestinal ulceration in the rat. This effect may be due to inhibition of iNOS induction through suppression of NF-κB activation.