Weaning is characterized by a series of changes in morphology and intestinal mucosal function. Immune system activation and high levels of mucosal expression of tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF) and interleukin-1β have been reported in weanling piglets and could be associated with digestive mucosa degradation and decreased digestive capacity. Dietary supplementation with zinc oxide (Zn oxide) and arginine (Arg) is known to improve growth in weanling piglets. This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of Zn and Arg supplementation on the antioxidant status and inflammatory response of piglets. Thirty-two 20-d-old weanling piglets were placed for 12 d on diets supplemented or not with Zn. The diets were designated as follows: ZN0ARG0 or control (n=9), ZN2500ARG0 (containing 2500 mg Zn kg-1; n=8), ZN0ARG1 (containing 1% Arg; n=8) and ZN2500ARG1 (containing 2500 mg Zn kg-1 and 1% Arg; n=7). Piglets were distributed according to their initial body weight (BW) among the four treatments in a randomized complete block design, initially with nine piglets per treatment. On day 12, blood samples were taken before and 3 h after intra-peritoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 10 μg kg-1). The piglets were euthanized just after the second blood sample, and samples of mucosa were taken from the jejunum and ileum for determination of mRNA expression and morphological observation.
Zn supplementation decreased plasma malondialdehyde measured before LPS injection (P<0.05). Arg supplementation increased the ferric-reducing ability of plasma (indicator of antioxidant status) measured after LPS injection (P<0.05). Piglets fed Zn-supplemented diets had lower total plasma superoxide-dismutase (SOD) activity (P<0.05) but higher plasma tumour necrosis factor-α (P<0.05) after LPS injection. Zinc-supplemented diets increased metallothionein-1 expression and total antioxidant capacity in the ileum and jejunum (P<0.05) and decreased interleukin-10 expression (P<0.05) in the ileum. In the jejunum, the combination of Zn and Arg supplementation increased villus height (Arg X Zn, P<0.05).
It is concluded that dietary Zn supplementation increased the total antioxidant capacity in the jejunal and ileal mucosa and expression of anti-inflammatory factor IL10 in the ileum of weanling piglets. The Arg supplement had little effect on the control of inflammation and antioxidant status in the jejunal and ileal mucosae. Finally, although the combination of the Zn supplementation and Arg increased villus height in the jejunal mucosa, this structural improvement could not be attributed to a synergistic effect in the control of inflamatory and antioxidant status.
Bergeron, N., Robert, C. and Guay, F. 2014. Antioxidant status and inflammatory response in weanling piglets fed diets supplemented with arginine and zinc. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 94:87-97. DOI:10.4141/CJAS2013-023