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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 1996 Mar;50(1-2):127-43.

Low calcium diet and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) infusion modulate immune responses during Mycobacterium paratuberculosis infection in beige mice.

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Leptospirosis and Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


A 12-month study was conducted to evaluate the effects of feeding a low calcium (Ca) diet or 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D(3) infusion on the persistence of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis infection using a mouse model. Male beige mice 6-8 weeks of age were assigned to one of the following treatments: (1) non-infected, (2) infected,(3) non-infected/1,25(OH)(2)D(3), (4) infected/1,25(OH)(2)D(3), and (5) infected/low Ca (0.15 percent) diet. Infected mice were inoculated intravenously with live M. paratuberculosis. At 1, 6 and 12 months postinfection, mice in Treatments 3 and 4 were implanted subcutaneously with mini-osmotic pumps to deliver 1,25(OH)(2)D(3). Infusion with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) exacerbated M. paratuberculosis infection in most tissues at all time points. Mice infused with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) had higher bacterial counts in spleen, liver, and ileum compared with control infected mice after 1 month of infection. In contrast, feeding a low Ca diet reduced the number of viable organisms cultured from the liver and ileum of infected mice. Plasma Ca and 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) were increased in mice infused with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) at all time points but values for low Ca mice were not different than for non-infused mice. Splenocyte production of TNF, IL-1 and IL-6 was higher for mice fed the low Ca diet compared with control infected mice after 1 month of infection. Inducible IL-6 activity remained higher for this treatment at 6 months postinfection. These results suggest that feeding a low Ca diet to mice chronically infected with M. paratuberculosis appears to enhance their ability to clear the infection in a manner distinct from any effect of 1,25(OH)2D3.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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