Amino Acids

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 383–391 | Cite as

Effects of dietary l-lysine intake on the intestinal mucosa and expression of CAT genes in weaned piglets

  • Liuqin He
  • Huansheng Yang
  • Yongqing Hou
  • Tiejun LiEmail author
  • Jun Fang
  • Xihong Zhou
  • Yulong YinEmail author
  • Li Wu
  • Martin Nyachoti
  • Guoyao Wu
Original Article


The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of dietary l-lysine on the intestinal mucosa and expression of cationic amino acid transporters (CAT) in weaned piglets. Twenty-eight piglets weaned at 21 days of age (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire; 6.51 ± 0.65 kg body weight) were assigned randomly into one of the four groups: Zein + LYS (zein-based diet + 1.35 % supplemental lysine), Zein − LYS (zein-based diet), NF (nitrogen-free diet), and CON (basal diet). The experiment lasted for 3 weeks, during which food intake and body weight were recorded. At the end of the trial, blood was collected from the jugular vein of all pigs, followed by their euthanasia. Dietary supplementation with lysine enhanced villus height and crypt depth in the jejunum (P < 0.05). Jejunal mRNA levels for the b0,+-AT, y+LAT1 and CAT1 genes were greater (P < 0.05) in the Zein + LYS group than in the control, and the opposite was observed for CAT1. Dietary content of lysine differentially affected intestinal CAT expression to modulate absorption of lysine and other basic amino acids. Thus, transport of these nutrients is a key regulatory step in utilization of dietary protein by growing pigs and lysine in the diet influences the expression of amino acid transporters in the small intestine.


Pigs Digestibility Cationic amino acids Intestinal mucosa Transporters 



Amino acids


Cationic amino acid transporters



This research was jointly supported by grants from National Basic Research Program of China (2013CB127301), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31272463, 31110103909), Hunan strategy emerging industry science research project (2011GK4061), the Chinese Academy of Sciences Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists Grant No. 2011T2S15), and Texas A&M AgriLife Research Hatch project (H-8200).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liuqin He
    • 1
  • Huansheng Yang
    • 1
  • Yongqing Hou
    • 2
  • Tiejun Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jun Fang
    • 3
  • Xihong Zhou
    • 4
  • Yulong Yin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Li Wu
    • 1
  • Martin Nyachoti
    • 5
  • Guoyao Wu
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Agroecology in Subtropical Region, Scientific Observing and Experimental Station of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science in South-Central China, Ministry of Agriculture, Hunan Engineering and Research Center for Animal and Poultry Sciences, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Research Center for Healthy Breeding of Livestock and PoultryThe Chinese Academy of ScienceChangshaChina
  2. 2.Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed ScienceWuhan Polytechnic UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.College of Bioscience and BiotechnologyHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Molecular Animal Nutrition, Institute of Feed ScienceZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  5. 5.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  6. 6.Department of Animal ScienceTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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