Vitamin A deficiency induces fluid hyposecretion from the airway submucosal glands of mice
Sang Cheol Kim ; Hyun Jae Lee ; Jae Young Choi ; Joo-Heon Yoon ; Jung-Hee Joo
Journal of Nutrition, Vol.142(4) : 739~743, 2012
Journal of Nutrition
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) alters the phenotype of airway epithelium and attenuates the epithelial defense system, and many studies have reported the association of VAD with respiratory disease. In this study, we investigated changes in submucosal glands (SMG) in a mouse model of VAD. C57BL/6 mice were fed a vitamin A-devoid diet and the others were fed a control diet (1.2 mg retinol/kg). The areas of serous and mucous cells of SMG were measured in 4-, 8-, and 20-wk-old male mice. The volume and lysozyme concentration of glandular secretions were also measured. The 2 groups did not differ in body weight or general morbidity at 3-10 wk of age, although serum retinol concentrations were greater in the control mice than in the VAD mice after 4 wk. Upon histological evaluation, we found that the areal ratio of serous cells:total SMG cells was significantly lower after 8 wk in the VAD mice compared with the control mice, although the total area of SMG did not differ between groups throughout the 20-wk experiment. The number of secretory bubbles did not differ between the groups, but total secretion volume was reduced by 35% in 8-wk-old VAD mice compared with controls. Furthermore, the concentration of lysozyme in secretions from 8-wk-old VAD mice was also less than in controls, compounding the effect of diminished secretion volume. In this study, we found serous cell hypotrophy/hypoplasia and dysfunction in VAD mice, which may contribute to the susceptibility to airway infection linked to VAD.