Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1: A Novel Therapeutic Target in Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Center for Perinatal Research, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 43205, USA.
Pediatric Research (Impact Factor: 2.31). 03/2011; 70(1):67-71. DOI: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e31821928ff
Source: PubMed


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common gastrointestinal disease of infancy, afflicting 11% of infants born 22-28 wk GA. Both inflammation and oxidation may be involved in NEC pathogenesis through reactive nitrogen species production, protein oxidation, and DNA damage. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a critical enzyme activated to facilitate DNA repair using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) as a substrate. However, in the presence of severe oxidative stress and DNA damage, PARP-1 overactivation may ensue, depleting cells of NAD+ and ATP, killing them by metabolic catastrophe. Here, we tested the hypothesis that NO dysregulation in intestinal epithelial cells during NEC leads to marked PARP-1 expression and that administration of a PARP-1 inhibitor (nicotinamide) attenuates intestinal injury in a newborn rat model of NEC. In this model, 56% of control pups developed NEC (any stage) versus 14% of pups receiving nicotinamide. Forty-four percent of control pups developed high-grade NEC (grades 3-4), whereas only 7% of pups receiving nicotinamide developed high-grade NEC. Nicotinamide treatment protects pups against intestinal injury incurred in the newborn rat NEC model. We speculate that PARP-1 overactivation in NEC may drive mucosal cell death in this disease and that PARP-1 may be a novel therapeutic target in NEC.

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