Individual neuropeptides regulate gut-associated lymphoid tissue integrity, intestinal immunoglobulin A levels, and respiratory antibacterial immunity

M Keith Hanna, B L Zarzaur, K Fukatsu, R Chance DeWitt, K B Renegar, C Sherrell, Y Wu, K A Kudsk
JPEN. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 2000, 24 (5): 261-8; discussion 268-9

BACKGROUND: Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) leads to atrophy of the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and a significant decrease in intestinal immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels, a major constituent of mucosal immunity. Bombesin (BBS) prevents TPN-induced GALT atrophy and maintains intestinal IgA levels. BBS, a neuropeptide analogous to gastrin-releasing peptide in humans, stimulates the release of other gut neuropeptides including cholecystokinin (CCK), gastrin, and neurotensin (NT). This study investigates the ability of CCK, gastrin, or NT to individually prevent TPN-induced GALT atrophy and preserve respiratory immunity.

METHODS: Experiment 1: Male mice were randomly assigned to receive chow, TPN, TPN plus CCK, TPN plus gastrin, or TPN plus NT. After 5 days of feeding, Peyer's patches (PP) from the proximal and distal small bowel were harvested and analyzed for cell yields. PP cells were also analyzed for GALT cell type. Small bowel IgA levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Experiment 2: Mice were randomly assigned to receive either liposomes containing Pseudomonas antigen or liposomes without antigen. After 10 days, mice were randomly assigned to the same five treatment groups, fed for 5 days, and then given intratracheal Pseudomonas. Mortality was assessed after 48 hours.

RESULTS: Experiment 1: GALT cell reductions due to IV-TPN were greater in the distal than proximal small bowel. All three neuropeptides prevented most TPN-induced GALT atrophy due mainly to the maintenance of the B-cell and T-cell populations in the PP of the distal bowel. Intestinal IgA levels were significantly higher in the animals treated with neuropeptides than animals treated with TPN only; however, these IgA levels were not maintained at levels observed in chow-fed animals. Experiment 2: Immunization resulted in significantly lower mortality in animals fed chow, TPN plus CCK, and TPN plus gastrin. TPN alone and TPN plus NT resulted in loss of immunity and mortality rate at comparable levels to unimmunized animals.

CONCLUSIONS: Supplementation of IV-TPN with CCK, gastrin, and NT prevents GALT atrophy, primarily in the distal bowel. Intestinal IgA levels improve but not to normal levels. CCK and gastrin reversed IV-TPN-induced effects on antibacterial pneumonia in immunized animals while NT did not.

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