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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

Morphologic changes in the small intestine were investigated during development of naturally acquired wheat-sensitive enteropathy in Irish Setters. To distinguish underlying morphologic abnormalities from non-specific effects of intestinal damage, progeny of affected dogs reared on a normal wheat-containing diet were compared with their own littermates reared on a cereal-free diet and with age-matched clinically normal Irish Setters fed the same wheat-containing diet. Peroral jejunal biopsy specimens were taken sequentially between 4 months and 1 year of age. At 4 months of age, there were no differences in villus height, comparing the 3 groups, but increased numbers of intraepithelial lymphocytes and goblet cells were already present in biopsy specimens from the affected Irish Setters fed wheat. Dietary wheat resulted in a progressive reduction in villus height in the jejunum of affected Irish Setters from 6 months onward. Underlying morphologic abnormalities were not found, and the characteristic morphologic changes of this enteropathy were secondary to the presence of dietary wheat. However, development of partial villus atrophy was preceded by increased numbers of intraepithelial lymphocytes and goblet cells.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Biochemical changes in the small intestine during development of naturally acquired wheat-sensitive enteropathy of Irish Setters were investigated. To distinguish primary biochemical abnormalities from secondary effects of intestinal damage, progeny of affected dogs reared on a normal wheat-containing diet were compared with their own littermates reared on a cereal-free diet and with age-matched clinically normal Irish Setters fed the same wheat-containing diet. Peroral jejunal biopsy specimens were sequentially obtained between weaning and 1 year of age; specific activity and reorientating sucrose density-gradient distribution of organelle marker enzymes were determined. Major primary biochemical abnormalities were not detected in affected progeny. In affected dogs fed wheat, there was a selective, but secondary, loss of the brush border alkaline phosphatase and aminopeptidase N activities. This loss was associated with the development of partial villus atrophy, but represented a specific effect of dietary wheat on the brush border, not merely a nonspecific effect of mucosal damage, because other brush border enzymes, including disaccharidases, were not similarly affected. Increased soluble activities of lysosomal and peroxisomal marker enzymes late in the disease process may represent alterations in these 2 organelles as a secondary consequence of mucosal damage.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Intestinal permeability in dogs with small intestinal disease was measured by quantitation of 24-hour urinary excretion of 51Cr-labeled EDTA following intragastric administration. Permeability was high in dogs with a variety of naturally acquired small intestinal diseases including wheat-sensitive enteropathy of Irish Setters, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and giardiasis, and permeability was decreased after successful treatment. These findings indicate that the assessment of intestinal permeability may be a useful technique for detecting small intestinal disease and for monitoring the efficacy of treatment in dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

The small intestine of healthy adult Beagles was examined to determine whether subclinical abnormalities might exist that would be relevant to the use of Beagles in pharmacologic studies. Duodenal juice was obtained for qualitative and quantitative bacteriologic examinations; jejunal mucosa was taken for morphologic and biochemical investigation, and intestinal permeability was assessed by quantification of 24-hour urinary excretion of 51Cr-labeled edta after its oral administration. Comparisons were made with findings in healthy adult dogs of other breeds that served as controls. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth was found in 14 of the 21 Beagles examined, and represented a mixed flora that included obligate anaerobic bacteria in 8 dogs and exclusively aerobic bacteria in 6 dogs. Intestinal permeability (percentage urinary recovery of 51Cr-labeled edta; mean ± sem) was considerably higher (P < 0.01) in Beagles with anaerobic overgrowth (37.6 ± 3.2%) or aerobic overgrowth (30.5 ± 4.8%), compared with Beagles with no overgrowth (17.3 ± 1.6%) and with controls (11.1 ± 1.0%). In Beagles, significant (r = 0.54, P = 0.03) correlation was observed between 24-hour urinary recovery of 51Cr-labeled edta and bacterial numbers in duodenal juice. Morphologic changes in jejunal mucosa were minimal, and specific activities of brush border enzymes were not significantly decreased, apart from aminopeptidase N, but activities of lysosomal and endoplasmic reticular marker enzymes were higher in the 3 groups of Beagles with anaerobic, aerobic, or no overgrowth, compared with controls. These findings indicate that apparently healthy Beagles can have bacterial overgrowth in the proximal portion of the small intestine, which is associated with enhanced intestinal permeability and may not be suspected by clinical examination or routine histologic examination of mucosa.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To examine the difference in expression of messenger RNA (mRNA) transcripts for polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR), α-chain, and J-chain determined by use of quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR) assays in duodenal biopsy specimens obtained from dogs with and without chronic diarrhea.

Sample Population—Biopsy specimens of the proximal portion of the duodenum were obtained endoscopically from 39 dogs evaluated because of chronic diarrhea (12 German Shepherd Dogs and 27 non-German Shepherd Dog breeds); specimens were also obtained from a control group of 7 dogs evaluated because of other gastrointestinal tract diseases and 2 dogs that were euthanatized as a result of nongastrointestinal tract disease.

Procedure—Dogs were anesthetized, and multiple mucosal biopsy specimens were obtained endoscopically at the level of the caudal duodenal flexure by use of biopsy forceps; in 2 control dogs, samples were obtained from the descending duodenum within 5 minutes of euthanasia. One-step QRT-PCR was used to quantify the level of expression of transcripts for the housekeeper gene glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, pIgR, α-chain, and J-chain in duodenal mucosal tissue.

Results—There was no significant difference in the level of expression of any transcript among non-German Shepherd Dog breeds without diarrhea (control group), non-German Shepherd Dog breeds with chronic diarrhea, and German Shepherd Dogs with chronic diarrhea.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the susceptibility of German Shepherd Dogs to chronic diarrhea is not a result of simple failure of transcription of the key genes that encode molecules involved in mucosal IgA secretion. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:11–16)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research