Objective—To characterize mucosal gene expression in dogs with chronic enteropathy (CE).
Animals—18 dogs with CE and 6 healthy control dogs.
Procedures—Small intestinal mucosal biopsy specimens were endoscopically obtained from dogs. Disease severity in dogs with CE was determined via inflammatory bowel index scores and histologic grading of biopsy specimens. Total RNA was extracted from biopsy specimens and microchip array analysis (approx 43,000 probe sets) and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR assays were performed.
Results—1,875 genes were differentially expressed between dogs with CE and healthy control dogs; 1,582 (85%) genes were downregulated in dogs with CE, including neurotensin, fatty acid–binding protein 6, fatty acid synthase, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member B1, metallothionein, and claudin 8, whereas few genes were upregulated in dogs with CE, including genes encoding products involved in extracellular matrix degradation (matrix metallopeptidases 1, 3, and 13), inflammation (tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-8, peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ, and S100 calcium-binding protein G), iron transport (solute carrier family 40 member 1), and immunity (CD96 and carcinoembryonic antigen–related cell adhesion molecule [CEACAM] 18). Dogs with CE and protein-losing enteropathy had the greatest number of differentially expressed genes. Results of quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR assay for select genes were similar to those for microchip array analysis.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Expression of genes encoding products regulating mucosal inflammation was altered in dogs with CE and varied with disease severity.
Impact for Human Medicine—Molecular pathogenesis of CE in dogs may be similar to that in humans with inflammatory bowel disease.