Effects of rotavirus on epithelial transport in rabbit small intestine
Indians, North American
The present study investigated changes in small intestinal epithelial transport in rabbits infected with rotavirus. The crypt depth-villus height ratio was increased in infected ileal tissue as a result of a significant increase in crypt depth and patchy shortening of the villi. Similar villus damage was seen in the jejunum. Despite these histological changes, basal fluid absorption by both the ileum and jejunum of infected animals was unaltered. Values for basal short-circuit current and resistance were similar; however, the increase in short-circuit current evoked by prostaglandin E2 was significantly smaller in rotavirus-infected tissues than in controls. The apparent Vmax for electrogenic glucose and alanine uptake by the jejunum was significantly increased following inoculation with rotavirus. Reduced responsiveness to the secretory effect of prostaglandin E2 and increased nutrient uptake may limit diarrhea that would otherwise be expected to occur as a result of the changes in mucosal architecture. This has important implications on the clinical treatment of rotavirus diarrhea, suggesting that oral rehydration therapy, which depends on the active transport of nutrients, may provide a more effective treatment than the use of cyclooxygenase inhibitors.