Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 45, Number 2, March-April 2005
Page(s) 175 - 183
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 45 (2005) 175-183
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2005013

Is tryptophan catabolism increased under indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase activity during chronic lung inflammation in pigs?

Delphine Melchiora, b, Nadine Mézièrea, Bernard Sèvea and Nathalie Le Floc'ha

a  Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Unité Mixte de Recherche sur le Veau et le Porc, 35590 St-Gilles, France
b  Present address: Ajinomoto Eurolysine, 153 rue de Courcelles, 75017 Paris, France

(Received 23 March 2004; accepted 20 December 2004)

Abstract - In a preliminary study we observed that piglets suffering from chronic lung inflammation induced by an intravenous injection of complete Freund adjuvant showed a marked decrease in plasma tryptophan (Trp) concentration suggesting increased Trp utilisation. During the inflammatory process, a cytokine-induced enzyme called indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) has been shown to catabolise Trp into kynurenine (Kyn). Yet, during inflammation, increased Trp catabolism may decrease Trp availability for other functions such as growth. This metabolic pathway has never been studied in pigs. So, the objectives of this study were to measure IDO activity in pigs and to determine if the decrease in plasma Trp concentrations previously observed in piglets suffering from chronic lung inflammation could be explained by the induction of IDO activity. In order to do so, we compared IDO activity measured in the tracheo-bronchial lymph nodes and in the lungs of 7 piglets, injected with complete Freund adjuvant (CFA), to 7 pair-fed littermate healthy controls. Blood samples were taken at 0, 2, 5, 7 and 10 days following CFA injection in order to measure plasma Trp, Kyn and haptoglobin concentrations. Indoleamine 2,3-dioygenase activity in the tracheo-bronchial lymph nodes (P < 0.05), in the lungs (P < 0.07) and plasma haptoglobin (P < 0.01) were higher in pigs with lung inflammation than in the controls. Plasma Trp and Kyn were not significantly affected by CFA injection. Our data showed that IDO is activated under chronic lung inflammation in pigs. The impact of IDO activation on plasma Trp concentration and its availability is discussed according to the amount of Trp provided by the diet.

Key words: tryptophan / indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase / inflammation

Corresponding author: Nathalie Le Floc'h

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005