This study was conducted to examine the effect of early weaning on adaptive changes in IAP digestive capacity (Vcap) and IAP gene expression compared with suckling counterparts in pigs at ages 10–22 d. Weaning decreased (P < 0.05) IAP enzyme affinity by 26% and IAP maximal enzyme activity by 22%, primarily in the jejunal region, with the jejunum expressing 84–86% of the whole gut mucosal IAP Vcap [mol/(kg body weight·d)]. The majority (98%) of the jejunal mucosal IAP maximal activity was associated with the apical membrane and the remaining (2%) existed as the intracellular soluble IAP. Weaning reduced the abundance of the 60-kDa IAP protein associated with the proximal jejunal apical membrane by 64% (P < 0.05). Furthermore, weaning reduced (P < 0.05) the relative abundance of the proximal jejunal IAP mRNA by 58% and this was in association with decreases (P < 0.05) in the abundances of cytoplasmic (27%) and nuclear (29%) origins of IAP caudal-associated homeobox transcription factor 1.
In conclusion, early weaning decreased small intestinal IAP Vcap, IAP catalytic affinity, and IAP gene expression, and this may in part contribute to the susceptibility of early-weaned piglets to increased occurrence of enteric diseases and growth-check.
D. Lackeyram, C. Yang, T. Archbold, K.C. Swanson and M.Z. Fan. Early Weaning Reduces Small Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase Expression in Pigs. J. Nutr. 2010. Vol. 140 (3): 461-468.