02684-A: Evaluation of Serum Zonulin as a Non-invasive Biomarker and Therapeutic Target in Dogs with Chronic Canine Enteropathy

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $12,085
Jamie J. Kopper, DVM, PhD; Iowa State University
March 1, 2020 - February 28, 2021

Sponsor(s): Irish Setter Club of America Foundation, Inc., Portuguese Water Dog Foundation

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Gastrointestinal Disease
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One Health: Yes

Abstract

Canine chronic enteropathy (CE), is the most common cause of gastrointestinal (GI) disease in dogs. The exact mechanisms causing CE are unknown. However, disruption of the inner lining of the GI tract is believed to play a significant role resulting in a "leaky" GI tract leading to absorption of GI contents resulting in overstimulation of the immune system. Unfortunately, treatment for CE currently requires life-long management strategies (i.e. food elimination diets) which can be expensive and labor intensive for owners and/or require the use of medications which carry the risk for significant systemic side effects (i.e. steroids). Diagnosis and monitoring for disease relapse relies upon owner reported clinical signs and invasive diagnostic testing (i.e. endoscopic intestinal biopsies). Thus, non-invasive diagnostics as well as specific treatments are needed. Zonulin, a protein found in animals and humans, plays an integral role maintenance of intestinal barrier function. Humans and laboratory animals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) have elevations in serum zonulin which can serve as a non-invasive biomarker for intestinal permeability or "leakiness" and disease severity. Furthermore, novel compounds are under investigation to specifically target zonulin and preserve intestinal barrier function, thus ameliorating clinical signs of IBD in humans and laboratory animals. Despite, zonulin’s promise as a non-invasive biomarker and therapeutic target in other species, it has never been evaluated in dogs. The objective of this project is to determine if serum zonulin is elevated in dogs with CE.

Publication(s)

None at this time.

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