Impact of a dietary challenge with peroxidized oil on the glutathione redox status and integrity of the small intestine in weaned piglets
- Glutathione (GSH) is considered to play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the small intestine. In piglets, altered mucosal GSH levels might therefore be involved in weaning-induced changes of the small intestinal morphology and barrier function. To test this hypothesis, we aimed to challenge the mucosal GSH redox status during the first 28 days after weaning, by feeding diets containing 5% fresh linseed oil (CON), or 2.5% (OF1) or 5% (OF2) peroxidized linseed oil (peroxide value 225 mEq O2/kg oil) and exploring the effects on gut integrity. Piglets were pair-fed and had a total daily feed allowance of 32 g/kg BW. A fourth treatment included animals that were fed the control diet ad libitum (ACON). Animals were sampled at days 5 and 28 post-weaning. The malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration and GSH redox status (GSH/GSSG Eh) were determined in blood, liver and small intestinal mucosa. Histomorphology of the duodenal and jejunal mucosa was determined, and Ussing chambers were used to assess fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran (FD4) and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) fluxes across the mucosa. Results show that peroxidized linseed oil imposed an oxidative challenge at day 28, but not at day 5 post-weaning. At day 28, increasing levels of dietary peroxides to pair-fed pigs linearly increased MDA levels in duodenal and jejunal mucosa. Moreover, FD4 fluxes were significantly increased in OF1 (+75%) and OF2 (+64%) in the duodenum, and HRP fluxes tended (P=0.099) to show similar differences, as compared to CON. This co-occurred with a significant 11 mV increase of the hepatic GSH/GSSG Eh, potentiated by a significantly increased GSH peroxidase activity for treatments OF1 (+47%) and OF2 (+63%) in liver as compared to CON. Furthermore; duodenal HRP flux significantly correlated with the hepatic glutathione disulphide (GSSG) level (r=0.650), as also observed in the jejunum for hepatic GSSG (r=0.627) and GSH/GSSG Eh (r=0.547). The jejunal permeability was not affected, but FD4 and HRP fluxes significantly correlated with the local GSH (r=0.619; r=0.733) and GSSG (r=0.635; r=0586) levels. Small intestinal histomorphology was not affected by dietary lipid peroxides, nor were there any correlations found with the GSH redox system. To conclude, under oxidative stress conditions, jejunal barrier function is related to the local and hepatic GSH redox system. It is suggested that the hepatic GSH system participates in the elimination of luminal peroxides, and thereby impacts on duodenal barrier function.