Development of morphological changes and ileal glucagon gene expression in the small intestine of lambs infected with Trichostrongylus colubriformis

E. A. Roy, H. Hoste, P. Fuller, L. Tatarczuch, I. Beveridge

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To investigate the consequences of subclinical Trichostrongylus colubriformis infection on the intestinal mucosa and the associated changes in enteroglucagon gene expression, sheep were infected with 30 000 larvae and killed 5, 10, 15 or 20 days after infection. Histological and cytological changes were examined. In the main site of infection, the upper duodenum, villous atrophy associated with crypt hyperplasia developed gradually. Cytological changes in the enterocytes appeared concurrently, characterized by a progressive reduction in brush border and in the number of ribosomes in the cytoplasm, changes in the internal structure of mitochondria, and enlargement of the intercellular spaces. Neither histological nor cytological modifications were found before day 15. At the same time, villous hypertrophy developed distally, beyond the main site of infection; this was interpreted as an adaptive response to parasitism. Enteroglucagon gene expression in the ileum was measured in parallel with the mucosal changes but did not reveal any difference between infected and control sheep. The results indicate that this gastrointestinal hormone does not have a major role in the response to nematode parasitism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-453
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

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