Intestinal alkaline phosphatase is protective to the preterm rat pup intestine

Nathan P. Heinzerling, Jennifer L. Liedel, Scott R. Welak, Katherine Fredrich, Ben E. Biesterveld, Kirkwood A. Pritchard, David M. Gourlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common surgical emergency in neonates, with a mortality rate between 10 and 50%. The onset of necrotizing enterocolitis is highly variable and associated with numerous risk factors. Prior research has shown that enteral supplementation with intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) decreases the severity of NEC. The aim of this study is to investigate whether IAP is protective to the preterm intestine in the presence of formula feeding and in the absence of NEC. Methods Preterm rat pups were fed formula with or without supplementation with IAP, and intestine was obtained on day of life 3 for analysis of IAP activity, mRNA expression of TNFα, IL-6 and iNOS and permeability and cytokine expression after LPS exposure. Results There was no difference in the absolute and intestine specific alkaline phosphatase activity in both groups. Rat pups fed IAP had decreased mRNA expression of the inflammatory cytokines TNFα, IL-6 and iNOS. Pups supplemented with IAP had decreased permeability and inflammatory cytokine expression after exposure to LPS ex vivo when compared to formula fed controls. Conclusions Our results support that IAP is beneficial to preterm intestine and decreases intestinal injury and inflammation caused by LPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)954-960
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Intestinal alkaline phosphatase
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Toll like receptor 4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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