In the developing world, vitamin A (VA) deficiency is endemic in populations that are also at great risk of morbidity and mortality because of pneumococcal pneumonia and enteric infections. To better understand how lung and gastrointestinal pathogens affect VA status, we assessed VA concentrations in serum, lung, and liver during an invasive pneumonia infection induced by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 3, and a noninvasive gut infection induced by Citrobacter rodentium, in vitamin A-adequate (VAA) and vitamin A-deficient (VAD) mice. For pneumonia infection, mice were immunized with pneumococcal polysaccharide serotype 3 (PPS3), or not (infected-control), 5 d prior to intranasal inoculation with S. pneumoniae. Two days post-inoculation, immunization was protective against systemic infection regardless of VA status as PPS3 immunization decreased bacteremia compared with infected-control mice (P < 0.05). Retinol concentrations in the lung were higher in infected-control VAAmice (15.7 nmol/g: P < 0.05) compared with PPS3-immunizedmice (8.23 nmol/g), but this was not associated with increased lung bacterial burden. VAA mice had reduced severity of C. rodentium-induced gut infection as measured by fecal bacterial shedding compared with VAD mice (P < 0.05). Liver retinol and retinyl ester concentrations in VAA mice decreased at the peak of infection (retinol, 8.1 nmol/g; retinyl esters, 985 nmol/g; P < 0.05, compared with uninfectedmice; retinol, 29.5 nmol/g; retinyl esters, 1730 nmol/g), whereas tissue VA concentrations were low in VAD mice during both infections. Colonic mucin gene expression was also depressed at peak infection compared with uninfected mice (P < 0.05). Overall, pneumonia had less effect on VA status than gastrointestinal infection, predominantly owing to reduced hepatic VA storage at the peak of gut infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics