Small Animal Internal Medicine

Research Abstract

GI07 - Assessment of Gastrointestinal Injury in Racing Alaskan Sled Dogs

Thursday, June 14
11:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: WSCC 4C-4

Changes in gastrointestinal (GI) permeability and injury are caused by a breakdown of the protective gastrointestinal epithelial barrier and commonly occurs in humans, horses, and dogs following strenuous exercise. Gastrointestinal injury and increased permeability raises the risk of ulceration and translocation of intestinal bacteria causing sepsis or systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Current methods to assess intestinal injury and permeability in dogs are either invasive, difficult to preform, or have high variability. Intestinal fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP) and diamine oxidase (DAO) are two enterocyte proteins absorbed from the epithelium with intestinal injury. We hypothesized that I-FABP and DAO concentrations will increase with strenuous exercise and be correlated with previously obtained assessments of intestinal permeability and injury.

 

Serum was collected after various distances of a racing trial in conditioned Alaskan sled dogs. I-FABP and DAO levels were quantified using commercially available canine-specific ELISA assays. Protein concentrations were correlated with 5-sugar gastrointestinal permeability and severity of gastroduodenal ulceration, previously obtained by one of the authors. 

 

DAO was significantly increased (P = 0.002) with strenuous exercise. There was no relationship between I-FABP and exercise. There was no correlation to previously collected GI permeability. This study establishes the potential utility of serum DAO in the assessment of gastrointestinal permeability and injury in dogs. Future research will continue to validate these easily quantified biomarkers and investigate their potential both as a prognostic marker for acute gastrointestinal injury in racing sled dogs.

 

Changes in gastrointestinal (GI) permeability and injury are caused by a breakdown of the protective gastrointestinal epithelial barrier and commonly occurs in humans, horses, and dogs following strenuous exercise. Gastrointestinal injury and increased permeability raises the risk of ulceration and translocation of intestinal bacteria causing sepsis or systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Current methods to assess intestinal injury and permeability in dogs are either invasive, difficult to preform, or have high variability. Intestinal fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP) and diamine oxidase (DAO) are two enterocyte proteins absorbed from the epithelium with intestinal injury. We hypothesized that I-FABP and DAO concentrations will increase with strenuous exercise and be correlated with previously obtained assessments of intestinal permeability and injury.


 


Serum was collected after various distances of a racing trial in conditioned Alaskan sled dogs. I-FABP and DAO levels were quantified using commercially available canine-specific ELISA assays. Protein concentrations were correlated with 5-sugar gastrointestinal permeability and severity of gastroduodenal ulceration, previously obtained by one of the authors.


 


DAO was significantly increased (P = 0.002) with strenuous exercise, while there was no relationship between I-FABP and exercise discovered. There was no correlation to previously collected GI permeability and injury. This study establishes the utility of serum DAO in the assessment of gastrointestinal permeability and injury in dogs. Future research will continue to validate these easily quantified biomarkers and investigate their potential both as a prognostic marker as well as assessment of therapies in diseases of gastrointestinal injury in dogs, including sepsis/SIRS, exercise, obesity, and decompensated heart disease.

Tracy L. Hill, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), PhD, DECVIM-CA

Assistant Professor
University of Georgia

Tracy Hill, DVM, DACVIM, PhD, DECVIM-CA is an assistant professor at the University of Georgia. She completed residency training at North Carolina State University and received a PhD in gastrointestinal physiology, also from North Carolina State University. She has completed fellowship training in Interventional Radiology at the Animal Medical Center in New York City.

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