Gastrointestinal (GI) mucosa performs the function of electrolyte and nutrient absorption and performing the barrier function. Loss of intestinal lining mucosa with irradiation (IR) leads to barrier defect, giving intestinal comensal bacteria and peptides easy access to systemic compartment leading to endotoxemia. We therefore hypothesize that IR dose dependent damages to the intestinal mucosa will have alterations at functional, systemic and structural levels.
Functional lose of epithelial barrier were determined in Ussing chamber studies based the principle that mucosa will maintain the electrochemical potential gradient irrespective of the ionic strength of the bathing solution. Plasma endotoxin levels were measured using tachypleus amebocyte lysate kit. Changes in tight junction protein were determined in Western blot studies. These studies were done on small intestinal mucosa of BALB/c mouse on 3 or 6 days after exposure to 0, 3, or 7 Gy.