Because intraperitoneal administration of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) has a negative influence on the healing of colonic anastomosis, the production of eicosanoid products in the healing rat colon after resection and anastomosis was studied using high performance liquid chromatography. Normal colonic tissue metabolizes small amounts of arachidonic acid into cyclo-oxygenase and lipoxygenase products. After construction of an anastomosis, however, there is increased production of lipoxygenase products, while cyclooxygenase activity remains low. Increased amounts of PGE2 and other cyclo-oxygenase products are not produced after anastomosis of the colon and probably do not play a major role in uncomplicated healing of the large intestine in the rat. During the first eight days of repair in the anastomosed colonic tissue, a statistically significant increase in 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) production was found compared with control colon tissue (p = 0.001). At the same time peritoneal macrophages from these rats showed increased 12-HETE production. Eicosanoid synthesis of peritoneal macrophages resembled eicosanoid synthesis of anastomosed colon taken from the same rat indicating that 12-HETE, in particular, may be of macrophage origin.
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