Acute acidosis was induced in sheep, and gastrointestinal permeability was assessed by using lactulose as a permeability marker. Metabolism was evaluated by monitoring blood metabolites. Four rams (72.5 ± 4.6 kg BW) were used in a 2 × 2 changeover design experiment. The experimental period lasted 96 h from –24 to 72 h. After 24 h of fasting (from –24 to 0 h) for both controls and acidosis-induced rams (ACID), 0.5 kg of wheat flour was orally dosed at 0 and 12 h of the experimental period to ACID, while the basal diet (grass hay, ad libitum) was restored to control. At 24 h, a lactulose solution (30 g of lactulose in 200 mL of water) was orally administered. Blood samples were collected at –24, 0, 24, 48, and 72 h of the experimental periods for the analysis of metabolic profiles and during the 10 h after lactulose dosage to monitor lactulose changes in blood. In addition, rumen and fecal samples were collected at 24 h of the experimental period. The acidotic challenge markedly reduced (P < 0.01) rumen pH and VFA but increased rumen D- and L-lactic acid (P < 0.01). Concurrently, a decrease of fecal pH and VFA occurred in ACID (P < 0.01), together with an abrupt increase (P < 0.01) of lactate and fecal alkaline phosphatase. Blood lactulose was significantly increased in ACID peaking 2 h after lactulose dosage. Blood glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate, Ca, K, Mg, and alkaline phosphatase showed a significant reduction (P < 0.05) at 24 h, whereas urea and NEFA declined (P < 0.05) from 48 to 72 h. A strong inflammatory acute phase response with oxidative stress in ACID group was observed from 24 to 72 h; higher values of haptoglobin (P < 0.01) were measured from 24 to 72 h and of ceruloplasmin from 48 (P < 0.05) to 72 h (P < 0.01). Among the negative acute phase reactants, plasma albumin, cholesterol, paraoxonase, and Zn concentration also decreased (P < 0.05) in ACID at different time points between 24 and 72 h after acidotic challenge start. A rise (P < 0.05) of reactive oxygen metabolites and a drop of vitamin E (P < 0.01) between 24 and 72 h were indicative of oxidative stress in ACID. The perturbation of these blood metabolites suggests that acute acidosis was effectively induced by our model. The increase of lactulose in blood in ACID indicates that gastrointestinal permeability for the marker increased and the large increment after 2 h from dosage suggests that most of the passage occurred through the rumen or abomasal walls.
- Acute ruminal acidosis
- Gastrointestinal permeability