Elfers, K., Marr, I., Wilkens, M. R., Breves, G., Langeheine, M., Brehm, R., et al. (2016). Expression of Tight Junction Proteins and Cadherin 17 in the Small Intestine of Young Goats Offered a Reduced N and/or Ca Diet. PLoS ONE, 11(4), e0154311.
Abstract: <p>Diets fed to ruminants should contain nitrogen (N) as low as possible to reduce feed costs and environmental pollution. Though possessing effective N-recycling mechanisms to maintain the N supply for rumen microbial protein synthesis and hence protein supply for the host, an N reduction caused substantial changes in calcium (Ca) and phosphate homeostasis in young goats including decreased intestinal transepithelial Ca absorption as reported for monogastric species. In contrast to the transcellular component of transepithelial Ca transport, the paracellular route has not been investigated in young goats. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterise the effects of dietary N and/or Ca reduction on paracellular transport mechanisms in young goats. Electrophysiological properties of intestinal epithelia were investigated by Ussing chamber experiments. The expression of tight junction (TJ) and adherens junction (AJ) proteins in intestinal epithelia were examined on mRNA level by <italic>q</italic>PCR and on protein level by western blot analysis. Dietary N reduction led to a segment specific increase in tissue conductances in the proximal jejunum which might be linked to concomitantly decreased expression of cadherin 17 mRNA. Expression of occludin (OCLN) and zonula occludens protein 1 was increased in mid jejunal epithelia of N reduced fed goats on mRNA and partly on protein level. Reduced dietary Ca supply resulted in a segment specific increase in claudin 2 and claudin 12 expression and decreased the expression of OCLN which might have been mediated at least in part by calcitriol. These data show that dietary N as well as Ca reduction affected expression of TJ and AJ proteins in a segment specific manner in young goats and may thus be involved in modulation of paracellular Ca permeability.</p>