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Gail E. Besner, MD

Gail E. Besner, M.D.
John E. Fisher Endowed Chair in Neonatal Research
Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Department of Surgery
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Director, Pediatric Surgery Training Program
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Nationwide Children's Hospital
Phone: (614) 722-3914
Email: gail.besner@nationwidechildrens.org
The main focus of the Besner Laboratory is on novel strategies to protect the intestines from injury. Much of the work centers around a growth factor known as heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) which Dr. Besner initially discovered in 1990. HB-EGF is a potent intestinal cytoprotective agent with efficacy in multiple animal models of injury including models of necrotizing enterocolitis, ischemia/reperfusion injury, hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation, and cecal ligation and puncture. Recently, the laboratory has focused on mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation in protection of the intestines from injury, and on neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation in protection of the enteric nervous system from injury. HB-EGF and MSC work synergistically in protecting the intestines from injury. Furthermore, transfection of NSC so that they overexpress HB-EGF leads to increased efficacy.
Team members
Gail E. Besner, MD Principal Investigator
Yanchun Liu, PhD Senior Research Scientist
Yu Zhou, MD, PhD Research Scientist
Dan Watkins, MD Post-doctoral Fellow
Research Interests
Production of tissue engineered intestine
Use of growth factors to protect the intestines from injury
Stem cell transplantation for protection of the intestines from injury
Neurotransplantation for protection of the enteric nervous system
Selected Publications
1. Besner G, Higashiyama S, and Klagsbrun M: Isolation and Characterization of a Macrophage-Derived Heparin-Binding Growth Factor. Cell Regul (now Mol Biol Cell) 1:811-819, 1990. PMCID: PMC2088527
2. Radulescu A, Zorko N, Yu X, Besner G: Preclinical Neonatal Rat Studies of Heparin-binding EGF-like Growth Factor in Protection of the Intestines from Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Pediatr Res 65:437-442, 2009. PMCID: PMC19127201

3. Yu X, Radulescu A, Zorko N, Besner G: Heparin-Binding EGF-like Growth Factor Increases Intestinal Microvascular Blood Flow in Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Gastroenterology 137:221-230, 2009. PMCID: PMC19361505

4. Radulescu A, Yu X, Orvets N, Chen Y, Zhang H-Y, Besner G: Deletion of the Heparin-binding Epidermal Growth Factor-like Growth Factor Gene Increases Susceptibility to Necrotizing Enterocolitis. J Pediatr Surg 45:729-734, 2010. PMCID: PMC20385279

5. Radulescu A, Zhang H-Y, Yu X, Olson J, Darbyshire A, Chen Y, Besner G: Heparin-Binding EGF-Like Overexpression in Transgenic Mice Increases Resistance to Necrotizing Enterocolitis. J Pediatr Surg 45:1933-1939, 2010. PMCID: PMC20920709

6. Zhou Y and Besner G: Heparin-Binding EGF-Like Growth Factor is a Neurotrophic Factor for PC12 Cells. Neurosignals 18:141-151, 2010. PMCID: PMC20847549

7. Chen C-L, Yu Xiaoyi Y, Otabor I, Zhang H-Y, Yang J, Radulescu A Zhou Y, Besner G: HB-EGF Protects Intestinal Stem Cells from Injury in a Rat Model of Necrotizing Enterocolitis . Laboratory Investigation 92:331-44, 2012.. PMCID:PMC22157721

8. Yang J, Velten M, Besner G: A Technique for Systemic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in Premature Rat Pups. J Investig Surg (in press)

9. Zhou Y, Chen C-L, Besner G: Heparin-Binding EGF-Like Growth Factor (HB-EGF) Promotes Murine Enteric Neural Crest-Derived Cell Migration in Vitro and in Vivo. J Pediatr Surg (in press)

10. Watkins D, Zhou Y, Chen C-L, Darbyshire M, Besner G: Heparin-binding EGF-like Growth Factor (HB-EGF) Protects Mesenchymal Stem Cells. J Surg Res (in press)