In the new study, Takebe and his collaborators provide evidence for intestinal breathing in rats, mice, and pigs. First, they designed an intestinal gas ventilation system to administer pure oxygen through the rectum of mice. They showed that without the system, no mice survived 11 minutes of extremely low-oxygen conditions. With intestinal gas ventilation, more oxygen reached the heart, and 75% of mice survived 50 minutes of normally lethal low-oxygen conditions.
Because the intestinal gas ventilation system requires abrasion of the intestinal muscosa, it is unlikely to be clinically feasible, especially in severely ill patients -- so the researchers also developed a liquid-based alternative using oxygenated perfluorochemicals.
"We ass-blasted these mice with an air compressor, and then when we drowned them, they took longer to die! I fucking love science!"