Assessment of gastrointestinal permeability by lactulose test in sheep after repeated indomethacin treatment

Andrea Minuti, Sadek Ahmed, Erminio Trevisi, Fiorenzo Piccioli Cappelli, G. Bertoni, Paolo Bani

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

10 Citazioni (Scopus)


The aim of the study was to assess the small intestine permeability by using lactulose as a sugar probe and blood metabolites in sheep after a challenge with repeated indomethacin injections. According to a changeover design, 7 adult sheep (4 males and 3 females) were subjected to 4 intramuscular injections (every 12 h) of saline [control (CRT); 7 animals] or indomethacin (INDO; 7 animals). Two hours after the last injection, 30 g of lactulose were administered orally to both CTR and INDO. Blood samples were collected daily for the analysis of the metabolic profile and 5 samples were collected at 2-h intervals following lactulose ingestion to monitor changes in blood levels of lactulose as an index of intestinal permeability. The INDO challenge induced clinical symptoms such as lack of appetite, dullness, weakness, depression, and diarrhea with traces of blood in the feces. In INDO group, haptoglobin and ceruloplasmin increased (P < 0.01) after INDO challenge whereas a decrease (P < 0.05) of negative acute phase reactants (e.g., cholesterol, albumin, and paraoxonase) was observed. Reactive oxygen metabolites increased (P < 0.01) from 60 to 204 h after the INDO challenge start, with a decrease of vitamin E concentration from 12 (P < 0.01) to 132 h (P < 0.05). Blood lactulose concentrations were increased (P < 0.05) in INDO animals and the highest mean values (17.67 μg/mL in INDO vs. 0.17 μg/mL in CRT; P < 0.01) were observed 6 h after oral dosage of lactulose. These changes indicate that the INDO challenge led to severe inflammatory responses with oxidative stress by enhancing small intestinal permeability in sheep that allowed lactulose to enter in blood. The results of this experiment demonstrate that lactulose can be used as a probe to assess gastrointestinal permeability in adult ruminants to test the consequences of stressing conditions on animal welfare. For this purpose, the most suitable time for blood sampling is between 2 and 8 h after the oral dosage of lactulose.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)5646-5653
Numero di pagine8
RivistaJournal of Animal Science
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013


  • gastrointestinal
  • sheep


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