Subclinical infection with the nematode Trichostrongylus colubriformis increases gastrointestinal tract leucine metabolism and reduces availability of leucine for other tissues

F Yu, L A Bruce, Alexander Graham Calder, Eric Milne, R L Coop, F Jackson, G W Horgan, J C MacRae

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    Gastrointestinal (GI) tract leucine metabolism was measured in 6- to 9-mo-old lambs subjected to trickle infection with Trichostrongylus colubriformis larvae and in separate animals that were not infected. Animals prepared with a jejunal catheter and with indwelling catheters into the aorta and the portal- (PDV) and mesenteric- (MDV) drained viscera were infused simultaneously with [1-C-13] and [5,5,5-H-2(3)] leucine to determine GI tract sequestration of leucine from arterial and luminal amino acid pools by tracer and tracee arteriovenous concentration differences. Leucine oxidative losses and net fluxes were also determined across the GI tract. Infection had no detect-able effect on whole-body leucine flux, but it increased total GI tract leucine sequestration by 24% (P <.05) and GI tract oxidative losses of leucine by 22 to 41% (P <.01). Net PDV fluxes of leucine were decreased by 20 to 32% during the infection. The infection did not alter either the proportion of precursor leucine used by GI tract metabolism that was derived from the arterial leucine pool (.84 to .88) or the proportional sequestration of digesta-derived leucine during "first pass" absorptive metabolism (.12 to .18). These findings help to elucidate the metabolic basis for the reduced growth rates and nitrogen retention observed when animals are subjected to subclinical nematode infection.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)380-390
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Animal Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000


    • digestive tract
    • amino acids
    • stable isotopes
    • sheep
    • nematoda
    • food-intake
    • protein-synthesis
    • dietary-protein
    • growing lambs
    • amino-acids
    • whole-body
    • consequences
    • catabolism
    • parasitism

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