Amino Acids

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 831–839

Dietary supplementation with l-arginine or N-carbamylglutamate enhances intestinal growth and heat shock protein-70 expression in weanling pigs fed a corn- and soybean meal-based diet

  • Xin Wu
  • Zheng Ruan
  • Yunling Gao
  • Yulong Yin
  • Xihong Zhou
  • Lei Wang
  • Meimei Geng
  • Yongqing Hou
  • Guoyao Wu
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00726-010-0538-y

Cite this article as:
Wu, X., Ruan, Z., Gao, Y. et al. Amino Acids (2010) 39: 831. doi:10.1007/s00726-010-0538-y

Abstract

This study determined effects of dietary supplementation with l-arginine (Arg) or N-carbamylglutamate (NCG) on intestinal health and growth in early-weaned pigs. Eighty-four Landrace × Yorkshire pigs (average body weight of 5.56 ± 0.07 kg; weaned at 21 days of age) were fed for 7 days one of the three isonitrogenous diets: (1) a corn- and soybean meal-based diet (CSM), (2) CSM + 0.08% NCG (0.08%), and (3) CSM + 0.6% Arg. There were four pens of pigs per diet (7 pigs/pen). At the end of a 7-day feeding period, six piglets were randomly selected from each treatment for tissue collections. Compared with the control group, Arg or NCG supplementation increased (P < 0.05): (1) Arg concentrations in plasma, (2) small-intestinal growth, (3) villus height in duodenum, jejunum and ileum, (4) crypt depth in jejunum and ileum, (5) goblet cell counts in intestinal mucosae, and (6) whole-body weight gain in pigs. Real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting analyses revealed that both mRNA and protein levels for heat shock protein-70 (HSP70) were higher (P < 0.05) in the intestinal mucosae of Arg- or NCG-supplemented pigs than in the control group. Furthermore, the incidence of diarrhea in the NCG group was 18% lower (P < 0.01) than that in the control group. Collectively, these results indicate that dietary supplementation with 0.6% Arg or 0.08% NCG enhances intestinal HSP70 gene expression, intestinal growth and integrity, and the availability of dietary nutrients for whole-body weight gain in postweaning pigs fed a CSM-based diet. Thus, Arg or NCG is a functional ingredient in the weaning diet to improve nutrition, health, and growth performance of these neonates.

Keywords

l-ArginineN-carbamylglutamateGrowth performanceDiarrheaIntestinal morphologyWeaned pigs

Abbreviations

Arg

l-Arginine

CSM

Corn- and soybean meal-based diet

GAPDH

Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase

HSP70

Heat shock protein 70

IEL

Intraepithelial leukocytes

NAG

N-Acetylglutamate

NCG

N-carbamylglutamate

NO

Nitric oxide

RT-PCR

Real-time polymerase chain reaction

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xin Wu
    • 1
  • Zheng Ruan
    • 2
  • Yunling Gao
    • 1
  • Yulong Yin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xihong Zhou
    • 1
  • Lei Wang
    • 3
  • Meimei Geng
    • 1
  • Yongqing Hou
    • 3
  • Guoyao Wu
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Hunan Engineering and Research Center of Animal and Poultry Science, Key Laboratory for Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical AgricultureChinese Academy of SciencesHunanChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, College of Life Science and Food EngineeringNanchang UniversityNanchangChina
  3. 3.Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed ScienceWuhan Polytechnic UniversityWuhanChina
  4. 4.Department of Animal ScienceTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA