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Artificial rearing influences the morphology, permeability and redox state of the gastrointestinal tract of low and normal birth weight piglets.

Journal of animal science and biotechnology (2017-04-14)
Hans Vergauwen, Jeroen Degroote, Sara Prims, Wei Wang, Erik Fransen, Stefaan De Smet, Christophe Casteleyn, Steven Van Cruchten, Joris Michiels, Chris Van Ginneken
ABSTRACT

In this study the physiological implications of artificial rearing were investigated. Low (LBW) and normal birth weight (NBW) piglets were compared as they might react differently to stressors caused by artificial rearing. In total, 42 pairs of LBW and NBW piglets from 16 litters suckled the sow until d19 of age or were artificially reared starting at d3 until d19 of age. Blood and tissue samples that were collected after euthanasia at 0, 3, 5, 8 and 19 d of age. Histology, ELISA, and Ussing chamber analysis were used to study proximal and distal small intestine histo-morphology, proliferation, apoptosis, tight junction protein expression, and permeability. Furthermore, small intestine, liver and systemic redox parameters (GSH, GSSG, GSH-Px and MDA) were investigated using HPLC. LBW and NBW artificially reared piglets weighed respectively 40 and 33% more than LBW and NBW sow-reared piglets at d19 ( The results suggest that artificial rearing altered the morphology, permeability and redox state without compromising piglet performance. The observed effects were not depending on birth weight.

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Fluorescein isothiocyanate–dextran, average mol wt 3,000-5,000