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Blocking digestive enzymes may reverse shock, stop multiorgan failure
Date:1/23/2013

e and begin digesting it, a phenomenon the UC San Diego researchers call "autodigestion". Once beyond the mucosal barrier of the small intestine, the UC San Diego researchers believe the digestive enzymes damage other organs by indiscriminately starting to degrade them, which can lead to multiorgan failure and death.

The new research, published in the Jan. 23 issue of Science Translational Medicine, provides novel results linking digestive enzymes to shock, sepsis and multiorgan failure. In particular, by administering digestive enzyme blockers directly into the small intestines of rats an hour after the onset of different types of shock, the researchers led by Schmid-Schnbein reversed the often fatal conditions, reduced injury to the heart and lungs, and greatly increased long-term survival of the animals from about 16 percent to 86 percent.

  • The animals that received the digestive enzyme blockers in the lumen of the intestine regained their health and survived for long periods of time after shock. (Past experimental shock studies have been limited to relatively short observation periods.)

  • The researchers showed a clear connection between direct inhibition of pancreatic digestive enzymes after the onset of three different shock models in rat, reduced organ damage and long-term survival of the animals. They demonstrated improved survival with three very different inhibitors of the digestive enzymes.

  • All three of the pancreatic enzyme inhibitors, when delivered directly into the small intestine, but not when delivered intravenously, stopped autodigestion brought on by shock. (One of these enzyme inhibitors is already approved for use in the United States for other purposes).

  • Blockade of the digestive enzymes was successful in three widely different forms of shock. The researchers studied hemorrhagic shock, septic shock and endotoxic shock.

For the first time, these studi
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Contact: Catherine Hockmuth
chockmuth@ucsd.edu
858-822-1359
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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