Intestinal anaphylaxis in chickens: epithelial ion secretion as a determinant and potential component of functional immunity. Academic Article uri icon


  • Immunity to secondary protozoan infections in chickens is accompanied by rapid onset of intestinal permeability to serum proteins, an event in mammals associated with local anaphylaxis. The permeability changes in the chicken intestine are hypothesized to be mediated by mast cell-derived paracrine factors. In a test of this hypothesis, we demonstrated, using an electrophysiological correlate of intestinal anaphylaxis (antigen-induced Cl(-) secretion), that the response of the chicken intestine to antigenic stimulation is consistent with type I hypersensitivity reactions. Day-old, single-comb-white-Leghorn chickens were sensitized to bovine serum albumin (BSA). At 3 weeks of age ileal segments were mounted in Ussing-type chambers. Serosal challenge with BSA elevated the transmural short circuit current (DeltaIsc) within 1min and was maximally expressed (DeltaIsc=50-60microA/cm(2)) within 2-3 min. The magnitude of the DeltaIsc was directly related to the concentration of antigen (10-200 microg antigen/ml), was only expressed in immunized chickens, and was blocked by the mucosal application of a Cl(-) channel blocker. Data obtained in the present investigation identify epithelial ion secretion as a potential mechanism of functional immunity in the mucosal immune system of the chicken small intestine.

published proceedings

  • Dev Comp Immunol

author list (cited authors)

  • Caldwell, D. J., Harari, Y., Hargis, B. M., & Castro, G. A.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Caldwell, DJ||Harari, Y||Hargis, BM||Castro, GA

publication date

  • January 2001