Effect of threonine on secretory immune system using a chicken intestinalex vivomodel with lipopolysaccharide challenge

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Secretory IgA (sIgA) and its transcytosis receptor, polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR), along with mucus, form the first lines of intestinal defense. Threonine (Thr) is a major component of intestinal mucins and IgA, which are highly secreted under lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced inflammation. In the current study, the effect of Thr on the secretory immune system was determined in an ex vivo chicken ileal explant model. Results showed that a 2-hour Thr-deprivation of culture medium induced a compensatory increase in the mRNA expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8), mucin 2 (MUC2), and IgA during LPS challenge, and this increase was suppressed with Thr addition to the media (P ≤ 0.05), suggesting that Thr was required for mucin and IgA production after exposure to LPS. Similarly, a 2-hour culture of explants from birds fed a Thr adequate diet showed an increase in the mRNA abundance of IL-8, MUC2, and IgA with LPS treatment (P ≤ 0.003), which had a trend to be attenuated with Thr supplementation in the media (P ≤ 0.10). In contrast, explants from birds fed a Thr deficient diet had no response to LPS treatment. These results indicated that in vivo Thr deficiency induced impaired inflammatory and secretory immune responses in broiler chicks. Furthermore, our results revealed that induction of MUC2 and pIgR gene expression required nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation. Additionally, IgA transcytosis may be dependent on extracellular-regulated protein kinase (ERK) activation, which may indirectly impact pIgR gene expression.

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