The effects of clonidine, an α2-adrenergic agonist, and verapamil, a Ca2+ channel blocker, on Na2+ and Cl- absorption were studied in stripped jejunal mucosa from control and transmissible-gastroenteritis-virus-infected piglets. All infected piglets developed severe diarrhea 18-24 hours after oral inoculation. Jejunum from infected animals, as compared with control jejunum, had decreased mucosal-to-serosal, serosal-to-mucosal, and net Na+ and Cl- fluxes. Clonidine and verapamil caused a decrease in short-circuit current and stimulation of Na+ and Cl- absorption in control jejunum. In infected piglets, although the jejunum exhibited severe villus atrophy, both drugs stimulated Na+ and Cl- absorption and the magnitude of Na+ and Cl- absorption was similar in control and transmissible-gastroenteritis-infected jejunum. In contrast, d-glucose stimulated Na+ absorption, and the decrease in shortcircuit current caused by verapamil and clonidine, were decreased in transmissible-gastroenteritis-infected jejunum. Such pharmacological stimulation of Na+ and Cl- absorption might be useful in the management and treatment of certain viral diarrheal diseases.
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