Gut Barrier Function and Bacterial Interactions of Companion, Laboratory and Production Animals

A special issue of Veterinary Sciences (ISSN 2306-7381). This special issue belongs to the section "Anatomy, Histology and Pathology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 May 2024 | Viewed by 15734

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Pathobiology and Population Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield AL9 7TA, UK
Interests: GI pathology; microRNAs; digital pathology; artificial intelligence

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Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Physiology and Cell Signalling, Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GE, UK
Interests: GI pathophysiology; intestinal barrier function; intestinal organoid culture; drug-induced gastrointestinal toxicity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to bring together current literature and stimulate scientific knowledge exchange, within the community of researchers working to elucidate the complex relationships between gut barrier function and the intestinal microbiome in health and disease.

The gut represents the most important internal interface with microbial populations of the outside world. While maximizing the surface area to absorb critical components from the diet essential for life, the gut immune system must also tolerate symbiotic micro-organisms necessary for digestion and fermentation but prevent invasion of pathogenic microbes across the single-cell thick epithelial gut barrier.

Maintenance of gut barrier function is critical to preventing serious systemic illness including septicemic/endotoxic shock. However, little is known about what dictates the delicate balance of epithelial cell dynamics and microbial populations in health and disease. Laboratory animals have acted as models of human gut barrier dysfunction and dysbiosis, but it is of critical importance to consider interspecies differences and the concept of comparative pathology of the gut encompassing humans, companion, laboratory, and production animals; which may provide new insights into the microbiome and gut barrier function.

We hope that this Special Issue will bring together specialist literature to stimulate further scientific understanding and collaboration between scientists engaged in all aspects of this field of research.

Dr. Jonathan Williams
Dr. Carrie Duckworth
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • intestinal barrier
  • tight junction
  • microbiome
  • permeability
  • intestinal inflammation
  • tolerance
  • contra-biotic

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 5132 KiB  
Article
A Preliminary Study Assessing a Transfer Learning Approach to Intestinal Image Analysis to Help Determine Treatment Response in Canine Protein-Losing Enteropathy
by Aarti Kathrani, Isla Trewin, Kenneth Ancheta, Androniki Psifidi, Sophie Le Calvez and Jonathan Williams
Vet. Sci. 2024, 11(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci11030129 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 790
Abstract
Dogs with protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) caused by inflammatory enteritis, intestinal lymphangiectasia, or both, have a guarded prognosis, with death occurring as a result of the disease in approximately 50% of cases. Although dietary therapy alone is significantly associated with a positive outcome, there [...] Read more.
Dogs with protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) caused by inflammatory enteritis, intestinal lymphangiectasia, or both, have a guarded prognosis, with death occurring as a result of the disease in approximately 50% of cases. Although dietary therapy alone is significantly associated with a positive outcome, there is limited ability to differentiate between food-responsive (FR) PLE and immunosuppressant-responsive (IR) PLE at diagnosis in dogs. Our objective was to determine if a transfer learning computational approach to image classification on duodenal biopsy specimens collected at diagnosis was able to differentiate FR-PLE from IR-PLE. This was a retrospective study using paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed duodenal biopsy specimens collected during upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy as part of the diagnostic investigations from 17 client-owned dogs with PLE due to inflammatory enteritis at a referral teaching hospital that were subsequently classified based on treatment response into FR-PLE (n = 7) or IR-PLE (n = 10) after 4 months of follow-up. A machine-based algorithm was used on lower magnification and higher resolution images of endoscopic duodenal biopsy specimens. Using the pre-trained Convolutional Neural Network model with a 70/30 training/test ratio for images, the model was able to differentiate endoscopic duodenal biopsy images from dogs with FR-PLE and IR-PLE with an accuracy of 83.78%. Our study represents an important first step toward the use of machine learning in improving the decision-making process for clinicians with regard to the initial treatment of canine PLE. Full article
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15 pages, 4049 KiB  
Article
Modulation of Immune Response and Cecal Microbiota by Dietary Fenugreek Seeds in Broilers
by Deependra Paneru, Guillermo Tellez-Isaias, Walter G. Bottje, Emmanuel Asiamah, Ahmed A. A. Abdel-Wareth, Md Salahuddin and Jayant Lohakare
Vet. Sci. 2024, 11(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci11020057 - 28 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Fenugreek seeds (FSs) are a natural source of bioactive compounds that may modulate the immune system and gut microbiota in broilers. This study examined the effects of dietary fenugreek seed powder on immune-related gene expression and cecal microbiota composition in broilers. A total [...] Read more.
Fenugreek seeds (FSs) are a natural source of bioactive compounds that may modulate the immune system and gut microbiota in broilers. This study examined the effects of dietary fenugreek seed powder on immune-related gene expression and cecal microbiota composition in broilers. A total of 144 broiler chickens were randomly allocated to three dietary groups, CON (0 g/kg FS, FS5 (5 g/kg FS) and FS10 (10 g/kg FS), each with 6 replicates of 8 birds. Ileum tissues and cecal contents were collected on day 42 for the mRNA expression of inflammation and antimicrobial defense-related genes and cecal microbiome diversity, respectively. The results indicated that fenugreek seeds downregulated mRNA-level inflammation and antimicrobial defense-related genes: IL6, IL8L2, CASP6, PTGS2, IRF7, AvBD9, AvBD10, and AvBD11. Moreover, fenugreek seeds altered the cecal microbial community by increasing the population of Firmicutes and decreasing the population of Actinobacteriota, Gemmatimonadota and Verrucomicrobiota at the phylum level and increasing Alistipes, Bacteriodes and Prevotellaceae at the genera level. These findings suggest that fenugreek seeds have a positive impact on the immunological profile and microbiome of broiler chickens, possibly through the interplay of the immune system and the gut microbiome. Full article
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13 pages, 5556 KiB  
Article
Gastroprotective Effects of Oral Glycosaminoglycans with Sodium Alginate in an Indomethacin-Induced Gastric Injury Model in Rats
by Sara Traserra, Héctor Cuerda, Adriana Vallejo, Sergi Segarra, Roger Sabata and Marcel Jimenez
Vet. Sci. 2023, 10(12), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci10120667 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1571
Abstract
The gastrointestinal (GI) mucosal barrier is often exposed to inflammatory and erosive insults, resulting in gastric lesions. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as hyaluronic acid (HA), chondroitin sulfate (CS), and N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) have shown potential beneficial effects as GI protectants. This study aimed to evaluate [...] Read more.
The gastrointestinal (GI) mucosal barrier is often exposed to inflammatory and erosive insults, resulting in gastric lesions. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as hyaluronic acid (HA), chondroitin sulfate (CS), and N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) have shown potential beneficial effects as GI protectants. This study aimed to evaluate the gastroprotective effects of oral GAGs in rats with indomethacin-induced GI lesions. Forty-five Sprague–Dawley rats (8–9 weeks-old, 228 ± 7 g) were included in the study, divided into five study groups, and given, administered orally, either sucralfate (positive control group; PC), NAG (G group), sodium alginate plus HA and CS (AHC group), sodium alginate plus HA, CS, and NAG (AHCG group), or no treatment (negative control group; NC). Animals were administered 12.5 mg/kg indomethacin orally 15 min after receiving the assigned treatment. After 4 h, stomach samples were obtained and used to perform a macroscopic evaluation of gastric lesions and to allow histological assessment of the gastric wall (via H/E staining) and mucous (via PAS staining). The AHCG group showed significant gastroprotective improvements compared to the NC group, and a similar efficacy to the PC group. This combination of sodium alginate with GAGs might, therefore, become a safe and effective alternative to prescription drugs for gastric lesions, such as sucralfate, and have potential usefulness in companion animals. Full article
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17 pages, 3206 KiB  
Article
Intestine Health and Barrier Function in Fattening Rabbits Fed Bovine Colostrum
by Lucia Aidos, Margherita Pallaoro, Giorgio Mirra, Valentina Serra, Marta Castrica, Stella Agradi, Giulio Curone, Daniele Vigo, Federica Riva, Claudia Maria Balzaretti, Roberta De Bellis, Grazia Pastorelli, Gabriele Brecchia, Silvia Clotilde Modina and Alessia Di Giancamillo
Vet. Sci. 2023, 10(11), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci10110657 - 15 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1456
Abstract
The permeability of the immature intestine is higher in newborns than in adults; a damaged gut barrier in young animals increases the susceptibility to digestive and infectious diseases later in life. It is therefore of major importance to avoid impairment of the intestinal [...] Read more.
The permeability of the immature intestine is higher in newborns than in adults; a damaged gut barrier in young animals increases the susceptibility to digestive and infectious diseases later in life. It is therefore of major importance to avoid impairment of the intestinal barrier, specifically in a delicate phase of development, such as weaning. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on the intestinal barrier, such as the intestinal morphology and proliferation level and tight junctions expression (zonulin) and enteric nervous system (ENS) inflammation status (through the expression of PGP9.5 and GFAP) in fattening rabbits. Rabbits of 35 days of age were randomly divided into three groups (n = 13) based on the dietary administration: commercial feed (control group, CTR) and commercial feed supplemented with 2.5% and 5% bovine colostrum (BC1 and BC2 groups, respectively). Rabbits receiving the BC1 diet showed a tendency to have better duodenum morphology and higher proliferation rates (p < 0.001) than the control group. An evaluation of the zonulin expression showed that it was higher in the BC2 group, suggesting increased permeability, which was partially confirmed by the expression of GFAP. Our results suggest that adding 2.5% BC into the diet could be a good compromise between intestinal morphology and permeability, since rabbits fed the highest inclusion level of BC showed signs of higher intestinal permeability. Full article
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20 pages, 1492 KiB  
Article
Fecal Calprotectin Concentrations in Cats with Chronic Enteropathies
by Denise S. Riggers, Panagiotis G. Xenoulis, Dimitra A. Karra, Lena L. Enderle, Gabor Köller, Denny Böttcher, Joerg M. Steiner and Romy M. Heilmann
Vet. Sci. 2023, 10(7), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci10070419 - 28 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2745
Abstract
Diagnosis of feline chronic inflammatory enteropathies (CIE) and the differentiation from small cell intestinal lymphoma (SCL) can be challenging. Intestinally expressed calprotectin (S100A8/A9 protein complex) appears to be part of the complex pathogenesis of feline chronic enteropathies (FCE). Fecal calprotectin is a non-invasive [...] Read more.
Diagnosis of feline chronic inflammatory enteropathies (CIE) and the differentiation from small cell intestinal lymphoma (SCL) can be challenging. Intestinally expressed calprotectin (S100A8/A9 protein complex) appears to be part of the complex pathogenesis of feline chronic enteropathies (FCE). Fecal calprotectin is a non-invasive biomarker for intestinal inflammation in humans and dogs but has not yet been evaluated in cats. We hypothesized that fecal calprotectin (fCal) concentrations are increased in FCE, correlate with clinical and/or histologic disease severity, and distinguish cases of CIE from SCL. This case–control study included fecal samples and patient data from cats with CIE (n = 34), SCL (n = 17), other gastrointestinal (GI) diseases (n = 16), and cats with no clinical signs of GI disease (n = 32). fCal concentrations were measured using the immunoturbidimetric fCal turbo assay (Bühlmann Laboratories). Compared to healthy cats, fCal concentrations were significantly increased in CIE, SCL, and other diseases (all p < 0.0001), but were not different between these three groups (all p > 0.05), or between cats with extra-GI diseases and healthy controls. These findings suggest that fCal may have utility as a clinical biomarker for FCE but not for intestinal disease differentiation. It further supports the role of calprotectin in the pathogenesis of the spectrum of FCE, which includes CIE and SCL. Full article
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13 pages, 1707 KiB  
Article
Effect of a Ketogenic Medium Chain Triglyceride-Enriched Diet on the Fecal Microbiota in Canine Idiopathic Epilepsy: A Pilot Study
by Sylvia García-Belenguer, Laura Grasa, Jorge Palacio, Jon Moral and Belén Rosado
Vet. Sci. 2023, 10(4), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci10040245 - 24 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3313
Abstract
Ketogenic diets have been successfully used in people and dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. This study examined the effect of a ketogenic medium chain triglycerides (MCT)- enriched diet administered for one month on the fecal microbiota of epileptic (n = 11) (six with [...] Read more.
Ketogenic diets have been successfully used in people and dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. This study examined the effect of a ketogenic medium chain triglycerides (MCT)- enriched diet administered for one month on the fecal microbiota of epileptic (n = 11) (six with drug-sensitive epilepsy, DSE; five with drug-refractory epilepsy, DRE) and non-epileptic beagle dogs (n = 12). A significant reduction after diet in the relative abundance of bacteria from the Actinobacteria phylum was observed in all dogs. Epileptic dogs showed a higher relative abundance of Lactobacillus compared with non-epileptic dogs at baseline but these differences disappeared after diet. Epileptic dogs also showed a significantly higher abundance of Negativicutes and Selenomonadales after dietary intervention. Baseline microbiota patterns were similar in non-epileptic beagles and dogs with DSE but significantly different from dogs with DRE. In non-epileptic and DSE groups, the MCT diet decreased the relative abundance of Firmicutes and increased that of Bacteroidetes and Fusobacteria, but the opposite effect was observed in dogs with DRE. These results suggest that the MCT diet effect would depend on individual baseline microbiota patterns and that ketogenic diets could help reduce gut microbiota differences between dogs with DRE and DSE. Full article
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18 pages, 1842 KiB  
Review
The Mechanism of Important Components in Canine Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
by Kerong Li, Jie Yang, Xiaoxiao Zhou, Huan Wang, Yuxin Ren, Yunchuan Huang, Haifeng Liu, Zhijun Zhong, Guangneng Peng, Chengli Zheng and Ziyao Zhou
Vet. Sci. 2022, 9(12), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9120695 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2579
Abstract
Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a potential treatment for many intestinal diseases. In dogs, FMT has been shown to have positive regulation effects in treating Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), canine parvovirus (CPV) enteritis, acute diarrhea (AD), and acute hemorrhagic [...] Read more.
Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a potential treatment for many intestinal diseases. In dogs, FMT has been shown to have positive regulation effects in treating Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), canine parvovirus (CPV) enteritis, acute diarrhea (AD), and acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome (AHDS). FMT involves transplanting the functional components of a donor’s feces into the gastrointestinal tract of the recipient. The effective components of FMT not only include commensal bacteria, but also include viruses, fungi, bacterial metabolites, and immunoglobulin A (IgA) from the donor feces. By affecting microbiota and regulating host immunity, these components can help the recipient to restore their microbial community, improve their intestinal barrier, and induce anti-inflammation in their intestines, thereby affecting the development of diseases. In addition to the above components, mucin proteins and intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) may be functional ingredients in FMT as well. In addition to the abovementioned indications, FMT is also thought to be useful in treating some other diseases in dogs. Consequently, when preparing FMT fecal material, it is important to preserve the functional components involved. Meanwhile, appropriate fecal material delivery methods should be chosen according to the mechanisms these components act by in FMT. Full article
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