Evaluation of intestinal permeability and gluten sensitivity in Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers with familial protein-losing enteropathy, protein-losing nephropathy, or both

Am J Vet Res. 2000 May;61(5):518-24. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.2000.61.518.


Objective: To evaluate intestinal permeability and gluten sensitivity in a family of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers (SCWT) affected with protein-losing enteropathy (PLE), protein-losing nephropathy (PLN), or both.

Animals: 6 affected adult dogs.

Procedure: Intestinal biopsy specimens, urine protein-to-creatinine ratio, serum concentrations of albumin and globulin, and concentration of alpha1-protease inhibitor in feces were evaluated before, during, and 13 weeks after daily administration of 10 g of gluten for 7 weeks. Eosinophils and lymphocytes-plasmacytes were enumerated in intestinal biopsy specimens. Intestinal permeability was evaluated before and during the sixth week of gluten administration via cellobiose-mannitol and chromium-EDTA absorption tests.

Results: Serum globulin concentration decreased significantly after prolonged administration of gluten. Although not significant, there was an increase in lymphocytes-plasmacytes and a decrease in eosinophils in intestinal biopsy specimens. Furthermore, these counts were greater than those reported for clinically normal dogs. Gluten administration did not increase intestinal permeability.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Daily administration of gluten was associated with a significant decrease in serum globulin concentration in SCWT affected with PLE or PLN, but other variables remained unchanged. Although enhanced wheat-gluten sensitivity may be one factor involved in the pathogenesis of PLE or PLN in SCWT, this syndrome does not appear to be the result of a specific sensitivity to gluten.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopsy / veterinary
  • Blood Cell Count / veterinary
  • Chlorides / pharmacology
  • Chlorides / urine
  • Chromium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Chromium Compounds / urine
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Dog Diseases / genetics*
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dog Diseases / physiopathology
  • Dogs
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Duodenum / physiopathology*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / physiopathology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / veterinary
  • Glutens / immunology
  • Glutens / metabolism*
  • Kidney Diseases / genetics
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Kidney Diseases / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Permeability
  • Protein-Losing Enteropathies / genetics
  • Protein-Losing Enteropathies / physiopathology
  • Protein-Losing Enteropathies / veterinary*
  • Serum Albumin / analysis
  • Serum Globulins / analysis
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic / veterinary
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin / analysis


  • Chlorides
  • Chromium Compounds
  • Serum Albumin
  • Serum Globulins
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin
  • Glutens
  • Creatinine
  • chromous chloride