Intestinal resection induces angiogenesis within adapting intestinal villi

Colin A. Martin, Erin E. Perrone, Shannon W. Longshore, Paul Toste, Kathryn Bitter, Rajalakshmi Nair, Jun Guo, Christopher R. Erwin, Brad W. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: Adaptive growth of the intestinal mucosa in response to massive gut loss is fundamental for autonomy from parenteral nutrition. Although angiogenesis is essential for cellular proliferation in other tissues, its relevance to intestinal adaptation is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that resection-induced adaptation is associated with new blood vessel growth. Methods: Male C57Bl/6 mice underwent either a 50% small bowel resection or a sham (transection and reanastomosis) operation. After 1, 3, or 7 days, capillary density within the intestinal villi was measured using confocal microscopy. A messenger RNA reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) array was used to determine angiogenic gene expression during adaptation. Results: Mice that underwent small bowel resection had a significantly increased capillary density compared to sham-operated mice at postoperative day 7. This morphological alteration was preceded by significant alterations in 5 candidate genes at postoperative day 3. Conclusion: New vessel blood growth is observed in the adapting intestine after massive small bowel loss. This response appears to follow rather than initiate the adaptive alterations in mucosal morphology that are characteristic of adaptation. A better understanding of this progress and the signaling factors involved may improve therapeutic options for children with short gut syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1083
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Angiogenesis
  • Capillary density
  • Short gut syndrome
  • Small bowel resection


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