Impact of vitamin E or selenium deficiency on nematode-induced alterations in murine intestinal function

Karla J. Au Yeung, Allen Smith, Aiping Zhao, Kathleen B. Madden, Justin Elfrey, Carolyn Sullivan, Orville Levander, Joseph F. Urban, Terez Shea-Donohue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The effects of deficiencies in the antioxidant nutrients, vitamin E and selenium, on the host response to gastrointestinal nematode infection are unknown. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of antioxidant deficiencies on nematode-induced alterations in intestinal function in mice. BALB/c mice were fed control diets or diets deficient in selenium or vitamin E and the response to a secondary challenge inoculation with Heligmosomoides polygyrus was determined. Egg and worm counts were assessed to determine host resistance. Sections of jejunum were mounted in Ussing chambers to measure changes in permeability, absorption, and secretion, or suspended in organ baths to determine smooth muscle contraction. Both selenium and vitamin E deficient diets reduced resistance to helminth infection. Vitamin E, but not selenium, deficiency prevented nematode-induced decreases in glucose absorption and hyper-contractility of smooth muscle. Thus, vitamin E status is an important factor in the physiological response to intestinal nematode infection and may contribute to antioxidant-dependent protective mechanisms in the small intestine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • 5-HT, 5-hydroxytryptamine
  • GI, gastrointestinal
  • Hp, Heligmosomoides polygyrus
  • I, short circuit current
  • MO, menhaden oil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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