Effects of hyperoxia on postnatal intestinal development

P. J. Giannone, J. A. Bauer, B. L. Schanbacher, K. M. Reber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Fetuses develop in a marked hypoxic environment in utero. Premature infants often require high concentrations of oxygen to survive and develop in an environment that would be considered an oxygen stress for the fetus. Postnatal hyperoxia alters organ development, but there is minimal research regarding the role of hyperoxia in intestinal development. We attempted to determine whether postnatal hyperoxia exposure alters intestinal growth and function by using a reliable, objective and sensitive set of methods to study region-specific postnatal intestinal maturation. Rat pups born naturally were placed in continual exposure to room air (normoxia) or 85% oxygen (hyperoxia) immediately after birth. Pups were sacrificed at 1 and 2 weeks of age. Intestines were removed and fixed in formalin. Average mucosal, submucosal, and muscularis thicknesses were measured on hematoxylin and eosin stained sections. Immunohistochemistry was performed using antibodies against NOS II. The staining intensity was determined and quantified for site-specific regions of intestinal sections. No differences in mucosal thickness, submucosal thickness, or muscularis thickness were measured in the duodenum, jejunum or colon at any age. At two weeks of age, the thickness of the ileal mucosa was significantly greater in the group reared in 85% oxygen, and the group exposed to room air demonstrated significantly greater NOS II protein concentration than the hyperoxia group within the distal villus, proximal villus/crypts, submucosa, and muscularis in the distal small intestine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnic and Histochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Hyperoxia
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestinal development
  • Morphometry
  • NOS II
  • Nitric oxide synthase II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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