October 05, 2020

Interpretive Summary: Aspirin induces gastrointestinal tract barrier dysfunction in feedlot cattle

Interpretive Summary: Aspirin induces gastrointestinal tract barrier dysfunction in feedlot cattle

By: Anne Kamiya, MS

Gastrointestinal tract (GIT) health can have profound impacts on the overall health, growth and wellbeing of cattle. Weaning, inadequate diet, environmental stressors and viral illnesses erode GIT barrier function, leading to poor health outcomes. A reliable GIT barrier disfunction model is needed to effectively study how such external factors might impact the GIT health of cattle. In this recent Journal of Animal Science study, researchers looked at aspirin, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is known to cause GIT barrier dysfunction in humans and other animals. They hypothesized that aspirin would induce GIT barrier dysfunction and could potentially be used to create a GIT barrier dysfunction model in feedlot cattle.

Cattle were given increasing doses of aspirin ranging from 0 to 200 mg per kilogram of body weight. Blood, urine and small intestinal tissue were collected both during and at the end of the study. Several markers of gut barrier dysfunction and inflammation were evaluated. This study’s results supported the authors’ hypothesis: with an increasing dose of aspirin, GIT barrier function became significantly more compromised. Administration of 200 mg per kg of aspirin was the most effective in disrupting GIT barrier function.

Overall, the results of this study suggest that feeding high doses of the NSAID aspirin may be useful in creating a GIT barrier dysfunction model for feedlot cattle. More comprehensive studies looking at the effects of high dose aspirin on GIT health and ways to ameliorate GIT barrier dysfunction in cattle is justified.

The original article, Use of aspirin to intentionally induce gastrointestinal tract barrier dysfunction in feedlot cattle, is viewable in the Journal of Animal Science.