Journal of animal science

Effect of CLA on performance and immune response of weanling piglets.

PMID 22328727


An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of CLA on the immune response and performance of piglets when subjected to an immune challenge. A total of 32 weanling pigs (17 to 23 d of age) with an initial BW of 8.9 kg were allotted to a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. There were 3 levels of dietary CLA (0%, 1%, and 2%) and 2 levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge (unchallenged and challenged). Challenged pigs were challenged on d 7 and 21. On d 4 and 18, all pigs were inoculated with BSA for assessment of IgG production. There was no difference in growth performance among piglets receiving different CLA supplementation levels. However, LPS-challenged piglets had poorer BW (P < 0.05), ADFI (P < 0.01), and ADG (P < 0.001) compared with the control group at d 35 postweaning. Lipopolysaccharide-challenged piglets also had increased respiratory rate (P < 0.001) and rectal temperature (P < 0.001), and decreased plasma proteins, hematocrit, and white blood cell counts (P < 0.05). Production of IgG against BSA was increased in the 1% CLA supplementation group (P < 0.001), indicating that CLA has an immunomodulatory effect. Supplementation with CLA did not affect lymphocyte proliferation, percentage of CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells, plasma proteins, red and white blood cell count, respiratory rate, or rectal temperature after LPS challenge. Although CLA supplementation did not influence growth performance or certain immune system measurements, the increased IgG titers with 1% CLA dietary supplementation indicate that it has a beneficial effect on the humoral immune system of weaned piglets.