Journal of dairy science

Reducing gut effects from Cryptosporidium parvum infection in dairy calves through prophylactic glucagon-like peptide 2 therapy or feeding of an artificial sweetener.

PMID 28131587


Glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2) therapy was shown previously to reduce inflammation-related gut damage from coccidiosis in dairy calves, and feeding of artificial sweetener stimulates GLP-2 secretion from intestinal L cells. The purpose of this study was to determine whether GLP-2 treatment or artificial sweetener feeding beginning 1 wk before an experimental inoculation with the coccidian parasite Cryptosporidium parvum can reduce infection-related intestinal damage in Holstein bull calves. Newborn calves were assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups of 6 calves each, including noninfected control calves injected s.c. every 12 h with control buffer (CON), infected control calves injected s.c. every 12 h with control buffer (INF), infected calves injected s.c. every 12 h with 50 µg/kg of body weight of GLP-2 (GLP2), and infected calves injected s.c. every 12 h with control buffer and supplemented in the diet with Sucram (Pancosma, Geneva, Switzerland) at 400 mg/kg of dry matter of milk replacer (SUC). Treatments were initiated on d 1, and calves in INF, GLP2, and SUC were orally dosed on d 8 with 12,500 C. parvum oocysts. Fecal scores were recorded daily, plasma was collected on d 1, 8, 12, 15, and 18 to evaluate markers of inflammation, and fecal samples were collected on d 1, 8, and every other day thereafter to determine the presence of oocysts. Calves were euthanized on d 18 for collection of intestinal tissues and histological and gene expression analyses. Relative to CON, calves in INF exhibited an increase in diarrhea severity, increased plasma serum amyloid A concentration on d 15 and 18, reduced intestinal villus height, increased villus apoptosis and crypt cell proliferation, and increased intestinal mRNA expression of MARVELD2 and GPX2. However, calves in SUC and GLP2 had reduced diarrhea severity and fecal C. parvum oocyst shedding, reduced plasma serum amyloid A concentration on d 15 and 18, and, depending on the intestinal segment, increased villus height, reduced crypt cell proliferation, and reduced mRNA expression of MARVELD2, GPX2, and other tight junction proteins relative to INF. Lastly, GLP2 and SUC exhibited increased intestinal mass-to-length ratio and decreased length-to-empty body weight ratio relative to INF. Our findings suggest that GLP-2 and Sucram treatments administered before a low-level C. parvum exposure may contribute to fewer effects on intestinal integrity, morphology, and inflammation in response to infection, and shorter, denser intestines.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

N,N′-Dibenzylethylenediamine, 97%