European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 151–165

Limited and excess protein intake of pregnant gilts differently affects body composition and cellularity of skeletal muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue of newborn and weanling piglets

  • Charlotte Rehfeldt
  • Louis Lefaucheur
  • Jana Block
  • Bernd Stabenow
  • Ralf Pfuhl
  • Winfried Otten
  • Cornelia C. Metges
  • Claudia Kalbe
Original Contribution

Abstract

Aim

This study investigated whether dietary protein intake less (50%) or greater (250%) than requirements throughout gestation differently affects offspring body composition and cellular properties of skeletal muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SCAT).

Methods

Primiparous gilts were fed iso-energetic diets containing adequate (22 AP), high (21 HP), or low (19 LP) protein contents. Newborn (n = 166) and weanling piglets cross-fostered to sows fed a standard diet (day 28; n = 83) were examined by morphological, biochemical, histological, and molecular analyses of the body, SCAT, and semitendinosus, longissimus, biceps femoris muscles.

Results

Lowered birth weight (BW) in response to the HP and LP diets (p < 0.01) resulted from decreases in all body constituents in LP, and mainly from reduced body fat in HP piglets (p < 0.05). In the light BW class within litters, HP piglets exhibited a greater percentage of muscle tissue (p < 0.05) than LP piglets. Less SCAT mass in HP and LP piglets resulted from reduced (p < 0.05) number, but not the size of adipocytes. The LP diet adversely affected myogenesis and muscular differentiation derived from less (p < 0.01) primary and secondary myofibers, lower creatine kinase activity (p < 0.05), less IGF2 mRNA (p < 0.10), and greater expression of the embryonic myosin heavy chain isoform (p < 0.01). Catch-up growth of LP but not HP pigs until day 28 increased body fat (p = 0.01). Despite compensated muscle growth in LP piglets, the deficit in myofiber number remained.

Conclusion

Poor intrauterine environment by limited and excess protein supply retards fetal growth, but only limited protein supply impairs myogenesis, persistently restricts muscle growth potential, and favors obesity at infancy.

Keywords

Pregnancy protein intake Pig Fetal development Body composition Muscle fiber Adipocyte 

Supplementary material

394_2011_201_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (72 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 67 kb)
394_2011_201_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (79 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 78 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte Rehfeldt
    • 1
  • Louis Lefaucheur
    • 2
  • Jana Block
    • 1
  • Bernd Stabenow
    • 3
  • Ralf Pfuhl
    • 1
  • Winfried Otten
    • 4
  • Cornelia C. Metges
    • 5
  • Claudia Kalbe
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Unit Muscle Biology and GrowthLeibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)DummerstorfGermany
  2. 2.Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)Unité Mixte de Recherche sur les Systèmes d’Elevage, la Nutrition Animale et HumaineSaint-GillesFrance
  3. 3.Experimental UnitsLeibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)DummerstorfGermany
  4. 4.Research Unit Behavioural PhysiologyLeibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)DummerstorfGermany
  5. 5.Research Unit Nutritional PhysiologyLeibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)DummerstorfGermany

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